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

May 4, 2017

The Scoop

Communication is Key

Our community is a tight knit group.  
So when something in one of our conferences needs to change, we listen to what presenters and attendees have to say. This year, the location for the EFA Expo & Conference was not the right fit for the conference and the attendees let us know, providing great feedback onsite and through a post-event survey. We heard you loud and clear and are excited to announce that the 2018 EFA Expo & Conference will be held at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah will be a great city to visit and the location is the perfect size for the EFA program and for attendees to have those chance encounters and conversations they have come to enjoy.  In addition, we've extended the deadline for the call for presentations to June 28, 2017, by 5 P.M. PDT.    

At The Center, we enjoy talking with all of you to find out what you're doing and what you need to keep on top of the challenges you're facing today. One of the themes we've heard from many is the need to create tools that address the challenges with emergency department throughput.  Last week we released the Emergency Department Throughput Toolbox, created to assist healthcare organizations, designers, suppliers and others involved in the planning, design, construction and operation of emergency departments with pertinent tools including;

  • A Deep Dive Issue Brief 
  • An Executive Summary for quick reference of key points
  • Two Written Interviews
  • Three Case Studies
  • A Tool - "Emergency Department Throughput Strategies Considerations Checklist"
  • Design Strategies
  • Lessons Learned
  • Two Blogs
  • A Listing of Relevant Related Resources/Key Takeaways

You can get excerpts from this toolbox and read more about it here.

The Center also provides a variety of events - sometimes in-person offerings or through the convenience of our online learning opportunities that include live and on demand webinars and EBD Journal Clubs. Upcoming events include the Boston Health Design Insights Networking Event, our seventh annual Emergency Department Workshop and the first-ever Content Collaborative on ambulatory care design. You can view all of our upcoming events on our website calendar.

In the Insights and Solutions section of our website, you will find resources and tools that will provide you with knowledge that's actionable, knowledge you can quickly incorporate into your projects, along with the latest industry news to see what others are doing. Here's just a few of the open resources you will find there:

As always, let me know what tools and resources have been helpful to you in the past, and we'll feature them in our future newsletters.

Be well,

Debra Levin, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


Healthcare Facility Design Can Support Security

Secure facilities are essential to patient care. “At its highest level, one of the missions of a health care organization is to make sure that we are doing no harm to our patients and to our staff. Part of that is the assumption that we create environments that promote safety and security,” says Manuel Hernandez, M.D., FACEP, CPE, emergency department physician and health practice leader for architecture firm CannonDesign.

“Unfortunately, we have too many lessons from the past of what has happened when that [security] has failed,” Hernandez adds. Incidents of violent behavior and pharmaceutical theft demonstrate the need for health care organizations to think about security in facility design and planning, he says.
Health Facilities Management,  more . . .


Easing Growing Pains through Effective Space Planning

The way medical facilities operate must change exponentially as new technologies develop and new legislation is introduced. Effective space programming is key for optimal decision making while continually navigating growth and change.

Space programming for growth requires a keen eye for facility assessment, accurate facility information and the population it serves, and the acumen that only years of experience can bring. Careful assessments help programmers and planners understand the space and its complexities to determine probable adaptive reuse or to build new facilities once they know what services are being contemplated. And, understanding adjacencies and flow are key to overcoming the inefficiencies that often exist in older buildings, or determining when it makes more sense to build new.  Medical Construction & Design, more...


Improving - Not Eliminating Waiting Rooms 

Patients often view the waiting room as an unproductive space where they sit for a delayed appointment, while project teams and facility owners see a space that represents both construction and ongoing maintenance costs. This leads to the idea that it’s in everyone’s best interest to reduce time spent waiting as well as the amount of space programmed for waiting.

Not all waiting can be eradicated, however.

There are times in an ambulatory environment when there should be people in a waiting room, rather than in a clinical space. For example, some patients are driven to appointments by a neighbor or friend who they don’t want accompanying them into the exam room. Sometimes, it’s the clinician who requires time alone with a patient. Healthcare Design, more . . .


The internationally acclaimed CODAawards celebrate the design projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The awards honor the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day. Submit projects for consideration by May 31, 2017.  codaworx, more . . .

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



Final Days to Register for the 7th Annual Emergency Department Workshop! 

May 9-10, 2017
The Palmer House Hilton
17 E Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603

An ED Design Case Study & Simulation - Considered a workshop highlight by past attendees.

Presented with a challenge-filled ED design case study – including competing financial, operational, throughput and staff inputs – teams will strategize and program an approach to inform a design in “response” to a Board request for an ER space needs plan. Then they will design an emergency department layout and test against actual patient flow data to evaluate effectiveness and identify lessons learned.

The presenting faculty's work puts them on the forefront of today’s most promising design innovations and facility based solutions, making their insights invaluable to anyone designing, building or renovating an emergency department.

This is a unique opportunity to do much more than just listen and learn:

– you’ll engage, discuss and interact with leaders from the design industry, healthcare, academia and other members of our expert presenting faculty. 

Together you’ll learn to evaluate competing priorities and challenges, and solve them using design innovations and facility based solutions. Insights gained from an expert faculty, plus the latest case studies and benchmark data, are invaluable to anyone designing, building or renovating an emergency department.


Learn more here.






Evaluation and feedback are key to improving the built environment, especially when it involves the larger community. A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of an ambulatory care building can provide 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

Enjoy this free resource here.




We invite you

to join us for Health Design Insights Networking Events

Come meet and connect with CHD Affiliate members and the regional healthcare design community for "Innovations in Healthcare Design" - an informal, creative presentation, (worth one EDAC/AIA credit) at 5:00 p.m., followed by wine and hors d’oeuvres.

These events are FREE to CHD Affiliate Members and Partners. Non-members can attend for a $40 donation. 

Upcoming Health Design Insights Events: 

Boston, MA,
May 18, 2017

New York, NY, September 14, 2017


2017 Healthcare Symposium

Inaugural forum for advancement in healthcare facilities: collaboration to create a healthy indoor environment that supports patient healing.


More information and registration 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. 


EBD Journal Clubs

Evidence-Based Design (EBD) Journal Clubs are free, open to all and provide one EDAC/AIA CEU. These sessions provide opportunities to interact with authors who have recently published EBD papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as HERD and learn as they share ways to put their research into practice. 

Member Projects

Come see the projects The Center's Affiliate members are working on, including the project's mission, vision and lessons learned.



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

© 2017 The Center for Health Design

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