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The Center for Health Design - CURRENTS Newsletter
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The Center for Health Design - Currents Newsletter

July 7, 2016

The Scoop

Mobile phone use by clinicians may pose hospital infection risk

Mobile phones harbor germs and may pose an infection risk to patients if doctors and nurses don't wash their hands after using them, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

The study, conducted by a team from the Laboratory of Infectious Agents and Hygiene and the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne in France, sampled a random group of cellphones and hospital cordless phones belonging to 114 staffers (a combination of senior physicians, residents, nurses and nurses' assistants) at the University Hospital. Virus RNA was found on nearly 39 percent of the mobile phones tested. FierceHealthcaremore...

Tech talk: A flying hospital, mobile monitoring and 3-D tours

Orbis recently unveiled its next-generation Flying Eye Hospital. The international nonprofit has been fighting blindness for more than 30 years through its mobile medical training program. Its newest addition, the MD-10, is its third plane and an improvement over previous generations.

The aircraft donated by FedEx includes a laser and examination room, a substerile room where nurses sterilize equipment and medical staff scrub in before surgery. The operating room is located in line with the plane’s wings — the most stable part of the aircraft. The operating room’s floor is reinforced to withstand the weight of heavy equipment that is either stored or strapped down during flight. It also houses five cameras that record both close-up and wide shots during surgeries. Health Facilities Management, more... 


What Does Brexit Mean For The UK's NHS And Healthcare In Europe?

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has sent shock waves across the world. The economic fallout is widely expected to result in a recession in the UK along with reduced GDP growth across several European countries. The United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP), which has championed the cause for “Brexit,” has indicated that funds sent to the EU can be recovered and used to invest in the NHS, thereby improving quality of care provision; the facts, however, say otherwise.

By 2020, UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is expected to face a shortage of around 16,000 primary care physicians. By 2022, nurse shortages are expected to be in the vicinity of 100,000. The UK has traditionally tried to fill the gap by recruiting both doctors and nurses from foreign countries, especially other EU countries. The guarantee of stable, long-term contracts is a huge draw for a broad range of care providers across different EU countries. With the UK voting to leave the European Union, citing immigration as one of the key reasons, the NHS will struggle in recruiting manpower from these countries. Forbes, more...


How Telemedicine Is Transforming Health Care

After years of big promises, telemedicine is finally living up to its potential.

Driven by faster internet connections, ubiquitous smartphones and changing insurance standards, more health providers are turning to electronic communications to do their jobs—and it’s upending the delivery of health care.

Doctors are linking up with patients by phone, email and webcam. They’re also consulting with each other electronically—sometimes to make split-second decisions on heart attacks and strokes. Patients, meanwhile, are using new devices to relay their blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs to their doctors so they can manage chronic conditions at home.

Telemedicine also allows for better care in places where medical expertise is hard to come by. The Wall Street Journal, more...


Kaiser Permanente Designed A Health Center That Puts Patients First

The first thing you notice when you step into the exam room at Kaiser Permanente’s new health center in Manhattan Beach, California, is the roomy leather exam chair. Instead of forcing patients to perch awkwardly—as a standard, paper-covered table does—it allows them to sit eye-to-eye with their doctor, who can summon X-rays, lab results, and even real-time specialist consultations on a wall-mounted touch screen, or send prescriptions to an on-site pharmacy via a tablet. Sitting smack in the center of the room, the chair ensures that everything literally revolves around the patient.

That’s exactly the point. According to Kaiser chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson, the question driving the redesign of the exam room was: "How do we create a holistic experience where this organization is showing you care, compassion, and respect—and giving you all the medical information that you need?"

The exam room is part of Kaiser’s championing of a new human-centered, design-driven approach to medicine—and its vision for the future of health care delivery. 
Fast Company, Co-Exist more...


Hospitals Have Until November to Prepare for New CMS Rule

The Joint Commission says hospitals will have until November to prepare for new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements. CMS will begin surveying health care facilities on its new Conditions of Participation (CoPs) on November 7, 2016, after the CoP effective date of July 5. Beginning November 7, facilities will need to comply with the new CoPs, which adopt the 2012 editions of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code® and NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code.

When CMS published its new CoPs in a federal rule in May, the effective date was July 5, 2016. The Joint Commission issued a memo on June 10 stating the new CMS survey deadline of November 7 and noting that this allows health care providers and suppliers more time to assess their facilities for compliance. ASHE, more .. 


Retrofits Deliver Bottom-Line Benefits to Healthcare Facilities

Planning and performing retrofits and upgrades of any type of institutional and commercial facility is a complex undertaking. Maintenance and engineering managers involved in these projects have to balance a range of issues that includes facility schedules, staff workloads, new technology and materials, and budgets. But for managers in healthcare facilities, the challenges are even greater because overlying everything is the need to protect the health and safety of patients.

For as complex as healthcare upgrades and retrofits are, they still need to achieve the same goals as projects in any other facilities, from greater energy efficiency and cost savings to enhanced occupant comfort and safety. facilitiesnet, more . . .


The Center’s work is made possible with the funding support of our Thought Leaders:



ICONS and Innovator Webinar Series

These high-quality, affordable, thought-provoking and convenient learning events provide opportunities to inform your work strategies, obtain continuing education units (CEUs), and engage with industry icons and innovators who are championing change. Click on any of the upcoming webinar links below to get more information about the speakers and learning objectives and to register.


Aug 25
The Green Road Project: Healing Via Nature for Wounded Warriors

Sept 1
Undercover Masterplan: Design as a Catalyst to Unite Two Hospital Systems

Sept 8
Creating Safer Spaces in Healthcare: Impacts, Performance, and Outcomes of Rubber Flooring in Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act 


All past ICONS and Innovators webinars are available on demand for viewing at your convenience.  These webinars can be offered to your team as a professional development program from the convenience of their home or office and are an ideal way to receive continuing education credits.
More information here.





Download a sample issue brief, interview, case study

Wherever you are on the learning continuum; whatever your interest level, business objective or budget; at The Center you’ll find tools, research, resources and learning/networking events to take your healthcare design projects, your organization, your people, or your career to the next level.

We make many of our resources available at no cost to students, professionals and organizations via our website. We hope you find these samples and insights helpful and informative as you consider Affiliate membership for you or your organization. 

Enjoy these free resource here.


We invite you

to a workshop that explores how to mitigate infection risk Infection Prevention by Design –
A Systems Approach for Surfaces in Healthcare Facilities

September 15-16, 2016
Arlington, VA

On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. Environmental surfaces have been a focal point for infection control intervention for decades. However, even with routine and terminal cleaning of room surfaces and medical equipment, these measures alone still often fall short. 

Now, new research, technologies and strategies are pointing to the effectiveness of a systems approach – an integration of design, policies and protocols, and compliance and behavior – in improving outcomes and mitigating infection risks. Workshop attendees will participate in an interactive forum lead by industry experts including infection preventionists, environmental services leaders, facility managers, industry partners, and design specialists and will explore the importance of integrating the available options to continually improve outcomes and mitigate the risk of infection. 

Learn more and register here. 


Classic Resources

Free resources and tools to advance best practices and demonstrate the value of design to improve health outcomes, patient experience of care, and provider/staff satisfaction and performance. 

Clinic Design Post-Occupancy Evaluation Toolkit

Evaluation and feedback are key to improving the built environment, especially when it involves the larger community. Use this tool to get insight on: 

  • identifying and solving problems in the built environment
  • fine-tuning the building according to user needs and feedback
  • ongoing building adaptions due to changing organizational needs


Technology Brings Comforts of Home to Pediatric Patients

As the Children’s Hospital at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado has recently discovered, being a technologically advanced facility doesn’t mean you have to take a high-tech approach to your design elements. In fact, just the opposite is true at this pediatric hospital, where the most important goal is creating a nurturing environment that can help young patients to heal so they can go home faster.

The Center for Health Design is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is to transform healthcare environments for a healthier, safer world through design research, education and advocacy. Looking for ways to support our work? Contact us.

Join our Community of Affiliates  •  Become a Pebble Partner  •  Donate
Ask Us About Volunteer Opportunities  •  Contact Us

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