Spatial decision support systems for hospital layout design: A review

Zhuoran Jia*, Pirouz Nourian, Peter Luscuere, Cor Wagenaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)


This study presents a systematic review of the literature on decision support for designing hospital layouts using spatial network analysis and/or simulation modelling. The review includes 102 articles, which are classified into five different categories concerning their layout-related challenges. Specifically, the categories include overcrowding, patient waiting times, visibility & staff interaction, wayfinding & walkability, and other issues such as hospital-acquired infections. The main finding is the cross-referenced table of different performance issues related to the hospital layout to different assessment methods, indicators, and quality criteria. The review suggests prospects for associating hospital design problems/challenges with spatial layout, as well as a framework for developing methods for layout representation, aggregation and relativization borrowing from the fields of transport planning and operations research. The main focus of this study lies in the spatial layout. Viewing the spatial complexity of a hospital as an indoor spatial environment is at least as complex as an urban environment, thus justifying a geographical approach; hence we expand the scope of the literature review to papers that may not directly address hospital design but have relations to spatial decision support systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106042
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Decision support systems
  • Discrete event simulations
  • Hospital layout design
  • Markov chain random walk simulations
  • Space syntax analysis
  • ITC-CV


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