Sara Bayramzadeh, Ph.D., serves as coordinator and Elliot Professor in the Healthcare Design Program in Kent State University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
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Researcher Designs Safer Trauma Rooms

Traumatic injuries are the third leading cause of death nationally and the first in Americans age 44 and younger, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Level I trauma rooms are intended to stabilize and save the lives of patients with the most severe traumatic injuries. 

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has awarded a $2.47 million grant to a Kent State University researcher to help create trauma rooms that support staff in saving patients’ lives. Sara Bayramzadeh, Ph.D., coordinator and Elliot Professor in the Healthcare Design Program at Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, will establish a Patient Safety Learning Lab to produce new guidelines for Level I trauma room design. 

Bayramzadeh’s project, “Toward a Model of Safety and Care for Trauma Room Design,” will use design as a tool to improve efficient care in Level I trauma rooms. The project brings together a team of researchers from Kent State and Cleveland Clinic Akron General for the next four years. The study is based on the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model mandated by AHRQ’s Patient Safety Learning Labs’ program.

“The SEIPS model’s five components of organization, people, tasks, technology and the physical environment are an explicit example of how cross-disciplinary work is essential to holistically examine the processes that lead to improved safety outcomes,” Bayramzadeh said. 

According to the Joint Commission, a national nonprofit that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations and programs, 7-9% of deaths in Level I trauma rooms are due to preventable errors. Bayramzadeh’s project will identify some of the preventable errors related to the physical environment. The project will develop design strategies to integrate technology such that future adaptability is maximized, as new models of care emerge over time.

The project will evolve through five phases as required by the AHRQ. Bayramzadeh’s team will first identify problems associated with trauma rooms. The design and development phases will involve Healthcare Design graduate students to provide innovative design solutions. In the implementation phase, a high-fidelity mock-up of a trauma room will be built, which will facilitate the fifth phase of the project – evaluation – to test the effectiveness of the proposed design strategies through trauma scenario simulations.

The project includes a partnership with Cleveland Clinic Akron General’s Ali F. Mallat, MD, MS, FACS, Executive Medical Director, Acute Care Surgery; Jessica Krizo, Ph.D., Research Faculty, Emergency Medicine and Trauma Surgery; and Steven E. Brooks, MD, FACEP, Chair of Emergency Medicine; Kent State researchers Mary Anthony, Ph.D., RN, associate dean for research in the College of Nursing, and Douglas Delahanty, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences; former Kent State faculty member Kambiz Ghazinour Naini, Ph.D., who is now an assistant professor at SUNY Canton; as well as graduate students from Kent State’s Healthcare Design Program and honor students from the College of Nursing.