Physically Effective


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Improving Work Environment for Nurses Helps with Patient Outcomes 

Health systems engineers aiming to improve patient outcomes should pay attention to the physical work environment that registered nurses work in.

Numerous studies have shown that job satisfaction gives several outcomes that can trigger higher healthcare costs and penalties for hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study revealed that physical environment affected whether nurses could complete tasks without interruptions, communicate easily with other nurses and physicians, and do their jobs efficiently.

A study in the August issue of Research in Nursing & Health, assessed physical environment based on the architectural, ambient and design features of the workspace, including crowdedness, ventilation, lighting, arrangement of furniture, colors and decorations, aesthetic appearance and the need for remodeling. Registered nurse Maja Djukic, the team leader, said the results showed that the physical work environment affects the effectiveness and efficiency of nurses.

Djukic said that when the nurses work in the right environment, it will increase their job satisfaction which will reduce turnover. And it will lead to improvements of patient outcomes.