The Center for Health Design
is an advocacy and research organization that brings architects and
hospital folks together to build new hospitals that are more efficient
and safer for patients. Since they're design guys, they have a pretty
cool web site too. I've referred to their work a number of times in the
past, and they've just released a 100 page abstract table (pdf file) to go with a research report (pdf file) they posted some time ago.

...the United States is facing one of the largest hospital building booms
in US history. As a result of a confluence of the need to replace aging
1970s hospitals, population shifts in the United States, the graying of
the baby boom generation, and the introduction of new technologies, the
United States will spend more than $16 billion for hospital
construction in 2004, and this will rise to more than $20 billion per
year by the end of the decade. These hospitals will remain in place for

In this project, research teams from Texas A&M University and
Georgia Tech combed through several thousand scientific articles and
identified more than 600 studies - most in top peer-reviewed journals -
that establish how hospital design can impact clinical outcomes. The
team found scientific studies that document the impact of a range of
design characteristics, such as single-rooms versus multi-bed rooms,
reduced noise, improved lighting, better ventilation, better ergonomic
designs, supportive workplaces and improved layout that can help reduce
errors, reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce pain and drugs, and
improve other outcomes. The team discovered that, not only is there a
very large body of evidence to guide hospital design, but a very strong

Another one of their findings is the impact variable acuity units (aka
flexible monitoring, universal units, house-wide monitoring) have on
reduced length of stay (LOS) and outcomes.