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photo - Khatereh Hadi

Photo by Rob Felt.

text - Intensive Care

KHATEREH HADI LOOKS AT HOW TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE THROUGH DESIGN

Khatereh “Kati” Hadi is a Ph.D. student in Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture. She’s part of the SimTigrate Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research effort to drive health care innovation through evidence-based design and simulation. Her research interests include improved design for intensive care units.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am from Iran. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the Art University of Isfahan. I came here in 2011.

HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN HOSPITAL DESIGN?

For my master’s thesis, I worked on a project looking at the design of an office building. I wanted to know what staff thought of their work environment and what they liked and didn’t like. I thought if I could design a better office environment, they’d be happier and more productive. They were thrilled with the suggested changes, and that was when I realized how important design is to people’s daily lives.

If office buildings have impact to this extent, I wondered what impact design could have in hospitals where patients are in critical situations. For them, design can be a matter of life or death.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE GEORGIA TECH?

Once I realized where I wanted to focus my research, I started looking for a program on health care design. The SimTigrate Design Lab is one of the best programs in the country, and I knew Craig Zimring (the lab’s director) is doing some really important and cutting-edge research in this area.

WHAT GOES INTO THE DESIGN OF A HOSPITAL? HOW CAN IT BE IMPROVED?

You want to look at certain patient or staff outcomes. For example, in intensive care units (ICUs), visibility is a major issue for patient safety. Patients are in critical condition, and their lives are at risk. Nurses need more opportunities to observe patients. Where do you put the nurses’ stations and position nurses so they have maximum visibility? How can you design the rooms to allow for greater visibility?

Another example is lighting. How can you design a better lighting environment to give patients the amount of light they need for regulation of their sleep/wake cycle during the day, but not disturb their sleep at night?

It’s about taking what we know about what patients and care providers need and translating that evidence into real design. It’s about solving real health problems that affect us all.

— Laura Diamond

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