Date of Graduation

Winter 12-18-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions



First Advisor

Marjorie Barter, EdD, RN, CNL, CENP

Second Advisor

Juli Maxworthy, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, CPPS, CHSE

Third Advisor

Leanne Hunstock, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC


It has been estimated that by the end of 2015, the U.S. will spend approximately $200 billion in new healthcare facilities construction. Infection prevention, patient and family satisfaction, and technologies influence contemporary designs of critical care units. All of these impacts have created larger patient care units, with a majority of single patient rooms. These larger spaces have created challenges for the clinicians to maintain the line-of-sight. The line-of-sight is one tool clinicians often use to maintain patient safety.

Since the seminal publication by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, patient safety concerns have escalated after revealing numerous deaths in U.S. hospitals occur due to error. Nurses are in the forefront for patient safety, especially in the hospital setting, and are responsible for 24/7 assessments, monitoring, surveillance, and care. The one safety tool, the line-of-sight, if obstructed could have an impact on patient safety, and often, it is the environment that creates the obstructions.

In the design phase, before construction begins in any new critical care unit, the line-of-sight should be considered for optimal surveillance and safety. Coupling the line-of-sight with the field of human factors engineering may be the next major influence to subsequent generations of healthcare construction.