Photo Courtesy of HKS Inc.

Photo Courtesy of HKS Inc.

A Medmodel Decision-Support Study to Assess the Relative Impact of Nurse Servers Over Central Medication Rooms on Nursing Efficiency

Read the trade article here


Debajyoti Pati

Clarissa Lima, Graduate Student, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology
Godfried Augenbroe (PI), Professor, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology

HKS Inc.

WHAT was the aim

The study objective was to assess through a MedModel simulation study the relative impact of nurse servers in patient rooms over central medication rooms on nurse walking and time with patients.

Why is it important

Excessive nurse walking on inpatient units has attracted attention, with some studies showing three to five miles of walking during typical shifts. Such excessive walking, potentially, interact with operational stressors to create fatigue and hence impact efficiency and patient safety. Moreover, undue walking takes valuable time away from direct patient care. One type of walking involves getting medications for patients.  


MedModel simulation runs on a floor plan with nurse servers and an identical floor plan with central medication room. Study focused solely on walking related to medication and medication-related supplies.

What did we find

For tasks related to medications alone, the nurse server alternative reduced walking by 576 feet during a typical 12-hour shift, thereby increasing time at bedside by 30 minutes. Based on study results, Houston Medical Center decided to adopt the nurse server design alternative for their new bed tower.

What is next