PhD Thesis Defense, Candidate - YoungSeon Choi

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday November 9, 2011 - Thursday November 10, 2011
      8:30 am - 10:59 am
  • Location: College of Architecture West Building Room 250
  • Phone: (404) 385-7554
  • URL:
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  • Fee(s):
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Robin Tucker




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Full Summary: PhD Candidate, YoungSeon Choi defends her thesis - The Physical Environment and Patient Safety:  An Investigation of Physical Environmental Factors Associated with Inpatient Falls.

Thesis Defense Announcement – YoungSeon Choi, PhD Candidate
Date: November 9, 2011

Time: 9:30 am – 12 noon

           College  of Architecture West Building Room 250
Committee Members:
Dr. Sonit Bafna, Architecture, Georgia Tech
Dr Ellen Do, Architecture, Georgia Tech
Dr William Drummond, City and Regional Planning, Georgia Tech
Dr. Kendall Hall, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Dr. Craig Zimring, Architecture, Georgia Tech  (Advisor)

The Physical Environment and Patient Safety:  An Investigation of Physical Environmental Factors Associated with Inpatient Falls



Patient falls are the most commonly reported adverse events in hospitals in the U.S. and elsewhere and about a third of falls result in injuries or death. Falls are harmful for patients and drive up the cost of healthcare.  A growing body of research is showing that design of the patient room and of the nursing floor can reduce falls, in combination with fall-prevention programs.  Among other factors, a number of studies have asserted that layouts that allow monitoring by nurses of their patients and that contribute to awareness by nurses of patients assigned to other nurses seem to contribute to reduced falls but few studies have quantified these relationships.  This study explored the role of the layout of the nursing floor on falls.


The study utilized a retrospective case-control study of all falls that occurred in a100-bed community hospital over a three-year period. The spatial characteristics rooms of patients who fell (cases) were compared with the rooms of matched patients (controls) who did not fall. Spatial characteristics were measured using DepthMap to measure visibility and accessibility and AutoCad to measure physical distance.  The controls were matched with fallers on age, diagnosis and other intrinsic factors known to affect falls.  Data were analyzed using logistic regression models that allowed exploring the impact of design variables on falls while controlling for intrinsic factors.


The most striking conclusion was that patients whose heads were not visible from caregivers working from their seats in nurses’ stations and/or from corridors had a higher risk of falling. Controlling for all other factors, patients where the head of the bed was not visible from the nurses station were 35% more likely to fall; patients who were not visible from the hallway or the nurses station were 78% more likely to fall.  This dissertation provides further evidence that rigorous measurement of layout can predict patient outcomes. The dissertation discusses the design implications of these findings.

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Architecture, defense, PhD Arch, School of Architecture, thesis, YoungSeon Choi
  • Created By: Melissa Tucker
  • Workflow Status: Draft
  • Created On: Oct 18, 2011 - 12:12pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:56pm