The Impact of Environmental Design on Teamwork and Communication in Healthcare Facilities: A Systematic Literature Review. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this systematic review is to investigate the current knowledge about the impact of healthcare facility design on teamwork and communication by exploring the relevant literature. Teamwork and communication are behavioral factors that are impacted by physical design. However, the effects of environmental factors on teamwork and communication have not been investigated extensively in healthcare design literature. There are no published systematic reviews on the current topic. Searches were conducted in PubMed and Google Scholar databases in addition to targeted design journals including Health Environmental Research & Design, Environment and Behavior, Environmental Psychology, and Applied Ergonomics. Inclusion criteria were (a) full-text English language articles related to teamwork and communication and (b) involving any healthcare built environment and space design published in peer-reviewed journals between 1984 and 2017. Studies were extracted using defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. In the first phase, 26 of the 195 articles most relevant to teamwork and 19 studies of the 147 were identified and reviewed to understand the impact of communication in healthcare facilities. The literature regarding the impact of built environment on teamwork and communication were reviewed and explored in detail. Eighteen studies were selected and succinctly summarized as the final product of this review. Environmental design, which involves nurses, support staff, and physicians, is one of the critical factors that promotes the efficiency of teamwork and collaborative communication. Layout design, visibility, and accessibility levels are the most cited aspects of design which can affect the level of communication and teamwork in healthcare facilities.

published proceedings

  • HERD

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Gharaveis, A., Hamilton, D. K., & Pati, D.

citation count

  • 65

complete list of authors

  • Gharaveis, Arsalan||Hamilton, D Kirk||Pati, Debajyoti

publication date

  • January 2018