• Ambulance Treatment Space Ergonomic Layout

Fusari, Gianpaolo, Matthews, Ed and Harrow, Dale, 2011, Art or design object, Ambulance Treatment Space Ergonomic Layout

Abstract or Description:

This is the first time a multidisciplinary team has employed an iterative co-design method to determine the ergonomic layout of an emergency ambulance treatment space. This process allowed the research team to understand how treatment protocols were performed and developed analytical tools to reach an optimum configuration towards ambulance design standardisation.

Fusari conducted participatory observations during 12-hour shifts with front-line ambulance clinicians, hospital staff and patients to understand the details of their working environments whilst on response to urgent and emergency calls. A simple yet accurate 1:1 mock-up of the existing ambulance was built for detailed analysis of these procedures through simulations. Paramedics were called in to participate in interviews and role-playing inside the model to recreate tasks, how they are performed, the equipment used and to understand the limitations of the current ambulance. The use of Link Analysis distilled 5 modes of use. In parallel, an exhaustive audit of all equipment and consumables used in ambulances was performed (logging and photography) to define space use. These developed 12 layout options for refinement and CAD modelling and presented back to paramedics. The preferred options and features were then developed into a full size test rig and appearance model.

Two key studies informed the process. The 2005 National Patient Safety Agency funded study “Future Ambulances” outlined 9 design challenges for future standardisation of emergency vehicles and equipment. Secondly, the 2007 EPSRC funded “Smart Pods” project investigated a new system of mobile urgent and emergency medicine to treat patients in the community.

A full-size mobile demonstrator unit featuring the evidence-based ergonomic layout was built for clinical tests through simulated emergency scenarios. Results from clinical trials clearly show that the new layout improves infection control, speeds up treatment, and makes it easier for ambulance crews to follow correct clinical protocols.

Research team memberDean, Dixie
Research team memberDarzi, Ara
Research team memberBenger, Jonathan
Subjects: Other > Subjects allied to Medicine > B800 Medical Technology > B890 Medical Technology not elsewhere classified
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
School or Centre: Research Centres > Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Copyright Holders: The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art
Funders: NHS London
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:44
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1302
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