Existing studies have established that the physical characteristics of buildings have significant influence on occupants’ satisfaction. However, studies has shown that the conventional ways that public hospital buildings in Nigeria are designed have contributed to stress, depression and anxieties because of loss of privacy, control over eating and sleeping times, and noise. And in addition contributed to dangers, allergies and other acquired infections called Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) to patients and staff. This study assessed the performance of Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) buildings which is identified to be the appropriate settings to tackle over 90% of the major causes of morbidity and mortality due to its proximity to about two-thirds of Nigerians. The objectives of this study were to; identify those standard performance criteria of healthcare buildings that aids healing of patients and positively influence users of PHC buildings; evaluate the perception of users on the performance of PHC buildings and outline appropriate steps to remedy the identified gaps to match up with the global standards. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in six PHC buildings across the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nigeria. A purposive sampling technique was used to select a total of 334 samples (patients, medical staff and visitors’) from the target population. Data were collected with the aid of an adapted version of - Achieving Excellence Design Evaluation Toolkit (AEDET) questionnaires. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to present simple mean, standard deviation and test for statistical significance of the results. Ten criterion, categorized into three criteria namely; functionality, build quality and impact were identified as the required standards for healthcare building performance. They aid in the healing of patients, improve the productivity of medical staff and attract patronage from visitors. The results show that users’ perception on the functionality and build quality of the PHC buildings which concerns the extent to which it facilitates or inhibits the activities of the medical staff who carry out the functions inside and around the building was poor. Also, the staff and patient environment which was addressed byimpact was assessed to be poor. In view of these, patients in PHC buildings do not have privacy during their stay for treatment and cannot be alone with others to have private discussions because of the multiple bed system that is currently run. The toilets, bathrooms and other facilities for the use of staff, patients and visitor are not befitting and dignified enough to attract patronage. The study recommends that the National Primary Healthcare
Development Agency’s (NPHCDA) Minimum Standards for Primary Healthcare and the Ward Minimum Healthcare Package upon which the design of PHC buildings in Nigeria is based should be updated and reviewed to reflect modern trends in healthcare architecture.
A completed building with its facilities and services must be fit for the purpose. Meaning that it should be able to perform its functions in the manner that will ensure satisfaction to its occupants (Ilesanmi, 2010; Hinde, 2012). Although buildings are constructed for different purposes (housing, school, health, etc.), their performance either excellent or poor can be seen from the eyes of its users (Ilesanmi, 2010; Jiboye, 2012). The design quality of a building have been found to influence its functions (Haciric, 2008; Ibrahim, 2011; Jiboye, 2012). For example, a well-designed school has shown to improve the teaching and learning process of teachers and students thereby improved educational achievements (Khan and Kotharkar, 2012; Khalila, Kamaruzzamanb, Baharumb, and Husina, 2015). Also, a well-designed hospital has shown to help in quick patients’ recovery, have positive impact on medical staff and visitors (Abbas and Ghazali, 2010; Ibrahim, 2011; Dandajeh, 2011).
A number of reasons have been provided on why buildings perform poorly in meeting users’ needs and expectations. The major reason was lack of adequate knowledge of users’ changing needs and preferences by architects and other professionals who design, construct and maintain these buildings. And the panacea to improve the overall performance of buildings is to explore and understand users’ needs, expectations and aspirations through regular performance evaluation by means of Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) or Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) (Natasha & Abdul Hadi, 2008; Ibema, Opoko, Adeboye, and Amole, 2013).