"Development and Psychometric Testing of a Post-Occupancy Evaluation"

Health Environments Research & Design (HERD) Journal, Fall 2014
Sheila Elijah-Barnwell, PhD, AIA, EDAC, and Bethany Friedow, MS, EDAC

The measurement of patient and staff experiences in a healthcare setting is an essential part of understanding and responding to patient needs and preferences. This understanding allows providers to make informed decisions regarding the improvement of healthcare services and facilities in order to help improve patient outcomes, enhance operational efficiency, and achieve the optimal occupant experience. Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is highly regarded in the industry as a necessity for improving the design, construction, and maintenance of healthcare facilities. Preiser (1988) describes post-occupancy evaluation as "the process of evaluating buildings in a systematic and rigorous manner after they have been built and occupied for some time" (p. 3).

This article discusses the development of a rigorously tested facility assessment toolkit that can be used for both existing facility assessments and post-occupancy evaluations. These kinds of tools promote capturing data similarly across all projects of like typology so that comparisons can be drawn and outcomes can be more accurately predicted. Standardized tools such as these can help project teams run comparisons between benchmarks and interventions, mine innovation and best practices, critically analyze the effectiveness of their solutions for the built environment, and refine their design and delivery process. This article describes the methodology used to create a standardized process and set of tools.

KEYWORDS: Evaluation tools, post-occupancy evaluation, process development,
psychometrics, standardization.