Wall Finish Selection in Hospital Design: A Survey of Facility Managers
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OBJECTIVE: This paper seeks to analyze healthcare facility managers' perceptions regarding the materials used for interior wall finishes and the criteria used to select them. It also examines differences in wall finish materials and the selection process in three major hospital spaces: emergency, surgery, and in-patient units. These findings are compared with healthcare designers' perceptions on similar issues, as currently documented in the literature. BACKGROUND: Hospital design and the materials used for hospital construction have a considerable effect on the environment and health of patients. A 2002 survey revealed which characteristics healthcare facility designers consider when selecting materials for healthcare facilities; however, no similar study has examined the views of facility managers on building finish selection. METHODS: A 22-question survey questionnaire was distributed to 210 facility managers of metropolitan, for-profit hospitals in Texas; IRB approval was obtained. Respondents were asked to rank 10 interior wall finish materials and 11 selection criteria for wall finishes. Data from 48 complete questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics and nonparametric statistical analysis methods. RESULTS: The study found no statistically significant differences in terms of wall finish materials or the characteristics for material selection in the three major spaces studied. It identified facility managers' four most-preferred wall finish materials and the five-most preferred characteristics, with a statistical confidence level of greater than 95%. CONCLUSIONS: The paper underscores the importance of incorporating all perspectives: facility designers and facility managers should work together toward achieving common organizational goals.
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