Department of Health

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.

Reviewed 15 July 2019


Contact details

Older People in Hospital Department of Health

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