The role of qualitative methods in designing health care organizations

Julie K. Johnson*, Paul Barach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Qualitative research methodologies can play an important role in health care design as they can provide contextual data about health care settings-specifically the people, processes, and patterns that make up the daily work of providing health care. Health care is provided in complex environments with intricate webs of relationships, which represent the multiple interactions with people, information, technology, culture, and the physical environment in which the care is provided. One could ask, "Is good design possible without an understanding of the context in which the work occurs?" Qualitative methods can capture the experiential aspects of design and usability; however, certain qualitative methods are better suited to capture the complexity of health care. These include observations, focus groups, and interviews, which are discussed in depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-204
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Focus groups
  • Hospital design
  • Observations
  • Process mapping
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The role of qualitative methods in designing health care organizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this