Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Public Health


Epidemiology and Biostatistics

First Advisor

Dr. Wayne T. Sanderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard J. Charnigo, Jr.


In 2011 the University of Kentucky opened the first two inpatient floors of its new hospital. With an estimated cost of over $872 million, the new facility represents a major investment in the future of healthcare in Kentucky. This facility is outfitted with many features that were not present in the old hospital, with the expectation that they would improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. After one year of occupancy, hospital administration questioned the effectiveness of some features. Through focus groups of key stakeholders, surveys of frontline staff, and direct observational data, this dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of two such features, namely the ceiling-based patient lifts and the placement of large team meeting spaces on every unit, while also describing methods that can improve the overall state of quality improvement research in healthcare.