Students Conduct Research for NYC Health & Hospitals

In NYSID faculty member Dr. Nicolas Watkins, Performance Analytics Manager for Gensler, and Breeze Glazer, Director of NYSID’s Master of Professional Studies in Healthcare Interior Design, guided a team of NYSID MPS-H students as they conducted research, on behalf of the NYC Health & Hospitals System, at Ida G. Israel Community Health Center in Brooklyn and Judson Health Clinic in Manhattan.

The goals of the study were to uncover the relationship between the design of existing facilities, as well as patient and staff behavior to provide evidence-based recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of clinics, the experience of patients, and caregivers. For their Applied Research Healthcare Design course, students Danielle Gallardo, Yoonkyung Gwak, Xinyi Li, Chigozie Mbamalu, Monica Flores, Nicole Dunlap, Hiral Shah, and Sheyda Sharareh used structured interviews, questionnaires, and tracked behaviors using tablet-based behavioral observation software.

The team produced a myriad of recommendations for NYC Health & Hospitals System in a formal presentation. One of the most interesting findings was that caregivers were likely to have their backs to patients, facing computers for much of the exam. Students recommended a triangulated furniture layout to facilitate more face-to-face interactions with the patient. The clinics had an excess of unused space, so the client loved the suggestion that they incubate other health services and businesses within the clinic, such as podiatry, holistic medicine, etc. “Instead of consuming research as they might in an academic class, these students were conducting it,” Dr. Watkins commented. “The experience opened the students’ eyes to what an application of their research could do for a client.”

Phyllis Greer