Informing Hospital Change Processes Through Visualization and Simulation: A Case Study at a Children's Emergency Clinic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the use of visualization and simulation tools in order to involve stakeholders and inform the process in hospital change processes, illustrated by an empirical study from a children's emergency clinic. BACKGROUND: Reorganization and redevelopment of a hospital is a complex activity that involves many stakeholders and demands. Visualization and simulation tools have proven useful for involving practitioners and eliciting relevant knowledge. More knowledge is desired about how these tools can be implemented in practice for hospital planning processes. METHODS: A participatory planning process including practitioners and researchers was executed over a 3-year period to evaluate a combination of visualization and simulation tools to involve stakeholders in the planning process and to elicit knowledge about needs and requirements. RESULTS: The initial clinic proposal from the architect was discarded as a result of the empirical study. Much general knowledge about the needs of the organization was extracted by means of the adopted tools. Some of the tools proved to be more accessible than others for the practitioners participating in the study. The combination of tools added value to the process by presenting information in alternative ways and eliciting questions from different angles. CONCLUSIONS: Visualization and simulation tools inform a planning process (or other types of change processes) by providing the means to see beyond present demands and current work structures. Long-term involvement in combination with accessible tools is central for creating a participatory setting where the practitioners' knowledge guides the process.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


  • Design process, hospital, modeling, planning, work environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-66
JournalHealth Environments Research & Design Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch