The Hospital Environment Audit Tool (HEAT) is an evidence-based tool for staff to audit their hospital environment. It provides practical strategies to optimise the environment in order to best meet the needs of older people and increase their participation in their care.
The HEAT encourages the user to consider the ways the environment, including the model of care and policy framework, affects an older person’s mobility, independence and wellbeing during a hospital stay, and provides practical strategies that can be implemented to optimise the environment.
The HEAT is divided into five sections:
- Patient bedside orientation
- On the ward – limited resources
- On the ward
- Facility audits
- Policy and procedure
Patient bedside orientation is designed to be completed in 5 to 10 minutes and should be used with every patient on admission or after transfer to the ward.
The other sections include multiple modules, each of which are designed to take from 15 minutes to 35 minutes to complete. Staff can complete all sections or simply the section or module which is most relevant at the time. Options are provided for where there is a small budget and short timeframe available, and alternatively for where there is some budget and a longer timeframe available. It is not designed to be used for major refurbishments or new builds.
The HEAT is designed to be completed online, however printable versions of each module have also been provided. An action plan template that can be printed and completed has also been provided for you to document the progress of any changes suggested by the audits.
National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards
HEAT is closely aligned with and can assist organisations to meet the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards
Patient bedside orientation
Use this HEAT module to determine methods of introducing and orientating older patients to the hospital environment on admission or after transfer to the ward.
On the ward - limited resources
These audits can be implemented over a short time period and/or with minimal budget or resources. They are designed to look at the ward spaces of a hospital.
On the ward
These audit modules look at the ward spaces of a hospital. They are designed to be use when you have some resources available.
This section of HEAT contains modules that consider the whole hospital facility and its ability to meet the needs of older people and support their participation in their care.
Policy and procedure
These modules consider how policies and procedures in a hospital setting can be built upon to ensure the environment supports the care of older people.
Further information - HEAT
Education and information resources available on optimising environments for older people in hospital.
Reviewed 15 July 2019