Improving the Patient Experience: Best Practices for Safety-Net Clinic Redesign

Center for Health Design


This is archived content, for historical reference only.

Research shows that the physical environment of health care facilities affects patients, staff, and families by impacting patient safety and quality of care. Recent analyses of the physical features of health care facilities have primarily focused on acute care settings, but there is some evidence that the physical environment plays an important role in outpatient settings as well.

This report summarizes the research on how health care facility designs and various physical aspects of ambulatory care environments can positively or negatively impact patient experiences. The project included a review of literature examining evidence-based design in ambulatory care clinics (ACCs) and best practice case studies of community health center designs.

This report is intended to help decisionmakers involved in designing new safety-net clinics or retrofitting existing SNCs to create safer, less stressful, and more patient-centered care environments. The literature review looked at studies conducted within any type of ACC. Best practice case studies (conducted as onsite visits and phone interviews) were also conducted at community health centers (one type of SNC) to supplement and strengthen the information obtained from the literature review.

The case study findings, along with the literature review, provide a snapshot of the current state of ambulatory care design and provide a foundation for offering initial design recommendations and considerations for those involved in designing safety-net clinics.

The complete report is available under Document Downloads. A link is also provided to The Center for Health Design’s website on clinic design best practices.