Usability evaluation (IEQ survey) in hospital buildings

Leena Aalto*, Sanna Lappalainen, Heidi Salonen, Kari Reijula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
225 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - As hospital operations are undergoing major changes, comprehensive methods are needed for evaluating the indoor environment quality (IEQ) and usability of workspaces in hospital buildings. The purpose of this paper is to present a framework of the characteristics that have an impact on the usability of work environments for hospital renovations, and to use this framework to illustrate the usability evaluation process in the real environment. Design/methodology/approach - The usability of workspaces in hospital environments was evaluated in two hospitals, as an extension of the IEQ survey. The evaluation method was usability walk-through. The main aim was to determine the usability characteristics of hospital facility workspaces that support health, safety, good indoor air quality, and work flow. Findings - The facilities and workspaces were evaluated by means of four main themes: orientation, layout solution, working conditions, and spaces for patients. The most significant usability flaws were cramped spaces, noise/acoustic problems, faulty ergonomics, and insufficient ventilation. Due to rooms being cramped, all furnishing directly caused functionality and safety problems in these spaces. Originality/value - The paper proposes a framework that links different design characteristics to the usability of hospital workspaces that need renovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Environment
  • Hospital
  • Indoor air
  • Personnel
  • Usability
  • Workspace


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