Innovative designs for the smart ICU Part 2: The ICU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Successfully designing a new ICU requires clarity of vision and purpose and the recognition that the patient room is the core of the ICU experience for patients, staff, and visitors. The ICU can be conceptualized into three components: the patient room, central areas, and universal support services. Each patient room should be designed for single patient use and be similarly confi gured and equipped. The design of the room should focus upon functionality, ease of use, healing, safety, infection control, communications, and connectivity. All aspects of the room, includ ing its infrastructure; zones for work, care, and visiting; environment, medical devices, and approaches to privacy; logistics; and waste management, are important elements in the design process. Since most medical devices used at the ICU bedside are really sophisticated computers, the ICU needs to be capable of supporting the full scope of medical informatics. The patient rooms, the central ICU areas (central stations, corridors, supply rooms, pharmacy, laboratory, staff lounge, visitor waiting room, on-call suite, conference rooms, and offices), and the universal support services (infection prevention, fi nishings and fl ooring, staff communications, signage and wayfi nding, security, and fi re and safety) work best when fully interwoven. This coordination helps establish effi-cient and safe patient throughput and care and fosters physical and social cohesiveness within the ICU. A balanced approach to centralized and decentralized monitoring and logistics also offers great fl exibility. Synchronization of the universal support services in the ICU with the hospital's existing systems maintains unity of purpose and continuity across the enterprise and avoids unnecessary duplication of efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-658
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovative designs for the smart ICU Part 2: The ICU'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this