CONCORD, CA — With a projected patient population of over 17 million in the next four years, healthcare providers around the country are in a scramble to renovate or build new clinics to meet the demands that healthcare reform will bring. What better time to think about how the design of those facilities can improve the patient experience and outcomes. The latest series of white papers released today via The Center for Health Design’s newly redesigned Clinic Design website focuses on improving the healthcare experience, specifically in safety-net clinics, for patients, staff, and the surrounding community.
“This series of white papers makes an invaluable contribution to the researched knowledge base of healthcare facility design and operations, particularly in the context of safety-net clinics,” explains The Center for Health Design’s President and CEO, Debra Levin. “These easy-to-read, authoritative, and well-referenced papers are purposed for any stakeholder—healthcare providers, design and construction professionals, and researchers.”
Funded by the California HealthCare Foundation, each paper addresses significant design issues for professionals who design, construct, and operate safety-net clinics – including cultural sensitivity, innovative care delivery models, and flexibility.
“The time to rethink the design for improved outcomes in patient access, patient experience, staff satisfaction and efficiency, and organizational efficacy is during the planning and design phase of a new or renovation building project,” adds Amy Keller, project lead and research associate at The Center for Health Design. “Thanks to the Foundation’s support, we are able to offer a new and resourceful, interactive website and these whitepapers, which include key questions to consider and recommendations to help inform the design process.”
- Anjali Joseph, PhD, EDAC, director of research at CHD and lead author of one of the papers, focuses on culturally sensitive communities and suggests several design strategies to improve patient experience by addressing cultural barriers and community needs. For example, employing wayfinding strategies, such as installing familiar visuals to and within a facility, can create an enduring relationship between the facility, the patients, and the community.
- Xiaobo Quan, PhD, EDAC, research associate at CHD and lead author of a second paper, explores innovative care delivery models and identifies design features that support those models. This includes installing mobile health clinics can increase access and improve patient outcomes, as does co-locating a facility near other service providers. Strategies to improve provider experience lead to greater efficiency of care delivery, such as space for collaboration and interaction among the health care team and the availability of up-to-date technology.
- Ellen Taylor, AIA, MBA, EDAC, research associate at CHD and lead author of a third paper, examines the critical need for incorporating flexibility and adaptability into clinic design. A multitude of factors—aging populations, community needs, advancing technologies—affect future demands on a facility and must be considered in today’s design process. Designing for future needs can help a health center retain viability and avoid obsolescence.
These white papers and an executive summary are available for free download on the Clinic Design website at www.healthdesign.org/clinic-design, under the “Solution Library”. Visitors to Clinic Design will notice new navigation and search functions, as well as three new features for those who want to contribute to the Clinic Design community: Submit Your Clinic (including pictures), Submit a Resource, and Words of Advice. Visitors can also create a free account to receive updates and news from Clinic Design.
About The Center for Health Design
The Center for Health Design (CHD) formed in 1993 as a nonprofit organization that engages and supports professionals and organizations in the healthcare, construction, and design industry to improve the quality of healthcare facilities and create new environments for healthy aging. CHD’s mission is to transform healthcare environments for a healthier, safer world through design research, education, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.healthdesign.org
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