Using Evidence to Design Cancer Care Facilities

January 2020 | Berry, Leonard L.

Using Evidence to Design Cancer Care Facilities



The nuts and bolts of planning and designing cancer care facilities—the physical space, the social systems,
the clinical and nonclinical workflows, and all of the patient-facing services—directly influence the quality
of clinical care and the overall patient experience. Cancer facilities should be conceived and constructed
on the basis of evidence-based design thinking and implementation, complemented by input from key
stakeholders such as patients, families, and clinicians. Specifically, facilities should be designed to improve
the patient experience, offer options for urgent care, maximize infection control, support and streamline
the work of multidisciplinary teams, integrate research and teaching, incorporate palliative care, and
look beyond mere diagnosis and treatment to patient wellness—all tailored to each cancer center’s
patient population and logistical and financial constraints. From conception to completion to iterative
reevaluation, motivated institutions can learn to make their own facilities reflect the excellence in cancer
care that they aim to deliver to patients.



  • Jonathan Crane
  • Katie A. Deming
  • Paul Barach


American Journal of Medical Quality