Return on investment of a LEED platinum hospital: the influence of healthcare facility environments on healthcare employees and organizational effectiveness

Debra D Harris


Objective: The purpose of this research study was to link hospital environments to the quality of care and the associated cost of care by examining the relationship among hospital environments and healthcare employee engagement, turnover, illness and injury.

Methods: This study used a multi-method research design and quantitative analysis of data sets from participating hospitals. Data included employee survey responses and human resource employee data provided by the hospital system. All statistical tests used an alpha level of .05. The analysis of the survey and human resource employee data tested for significant differences among employees at the participating hospitals; and used correlations and regression analysis to determine the direction and strength of the relationships where significant differences were evident.

Results: Results from the survey indicated that perceptions of the built environment affect employee engagement and health and well-being up to 14%. Turnover and injury reductions were significant and resulted in substantial cost differences; $2.17M cost reduction based on the facility replaced and annual cost avoidance of $2.24M when compared to the two newer hospitals that were not Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the quality of the hospital environment has social, environmental, and cost implications that aligns with the intention of sustainable design as defined by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Developing a built environment that supports productivity, efficiency, safety, and engagement contributes to the prosperity of the healthcare organization.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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