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  1. Davis, Melissa
  2. Elliott, Rosalind
  3. Hills, Rosemary
  4. Fry, Margaret


BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that single-room inpatient wards are associated with better patient outcomes than open-room wards but little is known about the impact on adverse events, patient satisfaction, and clinician experiences.


METHODS/PURPOSE: We evaluated the impact of a new inpatient single-room orthopaedic ward on patient and clinician outcomes using a medical record audit; patient, nurse, and medical doctor surveys; and nonparticipant observations in a tertiary hospital in Sydney, Australia.


RESULTS: The audit (1,569 patients; 819 open-room ward and 750 new single-room ward) revealed unchanged adverse event rates and fewer emergency calls after the move to a single-room ward. Survey responses from nurses, medical doctors, and patients were positive. Observations suggested that clinicians devised solutions to potential threats to patient safety.


CONCLUSION: The single-room ward design did not negatively impact on patient and clinician outcomes and was preferred by them. Clinicians organized their work to ensure patient safety.