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

June 1, 2017

The Scoop

Mission-Driven Evolution

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that The Center has been around formally since 1993 and that we have been doing this work really, for almost three decades. We began as a team of forward thinkers with a vision for creating healthcare facilities that promote healthier environments for patients and staff. Since then, this vision has become a movement.

Looking back over the years, it's remarkable to note that there have been vast changes to healthcare facilities since our early days, ranging from incorporating technology into every aspect of the design to integrating thoughtful design and operational details that can reduce falls and infections. These changes are not only becoming commonplace—they’re creating positive change.

Our community has grown as well and today is very diverse. Architects, interior designers, healthcare executives, healthcare professionals, researchers, product manufacturers, educators, and students are all members of The Center, and are all committed to optimizing healthcare facilities. 

To keep our members and the community up to date with what is going on in our industry, The Center provides a variety of learning opportunities - sometimes in-person or through the convenience of our online offerings, that include live and on demand webinars and EBD Journal Clubs. You can view all of our events on our website calendar

In the Insights and Solutions section of our website, we offer the 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 are helpful to you, and we'll feature them in our future newsletters.

Be well,

Debra Levin, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


Staying on Top of the Latest Trends in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is in a constant state of flux, with patient experience as one of many emerging drivers. Other drivers impacting the patient experience, and the industry as a whole, include smart technology, sustainability, safety, and comfort.

In the healthcare industry, a world where everything is smart, safe, comfortable and sustainable means that a building’s performance infrastructure enables patients to heal and clinicians to provide compassionate care. More specifically, for patients this might mean a building where patient room lighting and temperature automatically adjust to the patient’s condition and needs, promoting comfort and healing. In this same building, staff benefit from integrated systems that improve clinical staff efficiency and critical building systems that automatically produce the documentation required for compliance with regulations. Healthcare Facilities Today, more ...


The Evolution of Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities are about as complex a building type as you can get, making a career in the healthcare planning and design field far from a cakewalk. And market conditions are only complicating matters. Hospitals and health systems are responding to the financial realities of reform (and remaining unknowns tied to the Affordable Care Act), implementing measures to support population health, and trying to figure out what to do with an aging building stock—each priority shaping expectations for new building projects and, more importantly, the project team members delivering them.

Healthcare A/E/C firms are responding to the new climate that’s been created, one where shorter schedules are the norm, collaboration is key, and expertise is a must. Healthcare Design  more . . .


Navy Researchers Study Music's Power to Improve Patient Waiting Room Experience

The study, “Bridging Music and Military Mental Health,” was published in the Music & Medicine journal to show the correlation between waiting room atmosphere and patient attitude, but specifically among those with military experience.

The study’s 149 participants were split nearly in half with 76 experiencing a traditional waiting-room experience with a simple layout of chairs and daytime television programming. The other 73 patients were placed in a waiting room with soft instrumental music playing and nature scenes on the screen. Each participant completed an assessment of his or her waiting-room experience and the responses showed that those in the experimental group had statistically significantly higher pleasantness scores (two points) than their counterparts. Health Facilities Management, more . . .


New Outpatient Facility Anticipates Community Growth with Expanded Care

A new five-story, 106,000-square-foot outpatient services building recently opened on the west campus of St. Luke’s Hospital, Chesterfield, Mo., which will enable the health facility to expand patient services as the community grows.   

Care was taken to balance exterior and interior design elements between the new facility and the existing outpatient center. An indoor walkway allows patients, visitors and staff to travel between the buildings.

A single-loaded corridor creates a wayfinding element with multiple entry points, shortening the distance patients would travel exposed to outdoor elements. Large windows in the corridor allow natural light to enter the clinic spaces and the design embraces the local topography. Health Facilities Management, more... 

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



Planning or Renovating a Behavioral Health Facility? What Impact Do Your Design Decisions Have?

The Behavioral Health Workshop will provide strategic design innovations that improve treatment outcomes, safety and the bottom line

September 26, 2017
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202

Don’t miss this affordable, high-return day – a unique opportunity to learn from experts, idea-share with colleagues and re-charge your professional batteries to prepare you for today and tomorrow’s behavioral health challenges. 

What role can the built environment play in solving the dire and growing mental health and substance abuse crises? What impact do your design decisions have? Are you making use of the best and latest design solutions?

Design is making a difference in the lives of children and adults faced with these conditions, in the safety of the staff who treat and care for them, and in the financial and legal challenges faced by providers. 

Join us for this one day interactive, collaborative, problem-solving workshop intended to enable design and healthcare facility professionals to employ physical design strategies and methodologies that support improved care for behavioral health.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will gain insight into:

  • The implications of your design decisions 
  • Innovative and effective design strategies that support behavioral health populations 
  • Case studies of state-of-the-art facilities
  • Existing standards and behavioral health models

Register Now to Get the
Early Bird Rate! 

Learn more here.



Safety Risk Assessment Toolkit

This Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) toolkit helps healthcare design teams proactively identify and mitigate built environment conditions that may impact patient and worker safety in healthcare environments.  Through extensive review of research, consensus building with industry experts, and pilot testing, the SRA toolkit was created to support the 2014 FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities. 

Enjoy this free resource here.




We invite you

to Submit Your Presentation for the 2018 Environments for Aging Conference

Call for Presentations Deadline is June 28, 2017, 5:00 P.M. PDT

The Environments for Aging Expo & Conference is an annual event that brings together developers, owners, design professionals, product manufacturers, academia, aging specialists, and government officials to explore new ideas for creating places that support people as they age. Developed by professionals who are day-to-day advocates and champions for improving healthcare and life experiences for the aging population, this comprehensive conference provides attendees with access to state-of-the-art information from thought leaders and innovators within the field of aging.

To submit a presentation proposal, click 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. 


Design Insights and Strategies Tool

One of the most accessed and used tools on our site is one that explores the patient room, the most repetitive space in acute care facilities, and offers many opportunities to incorporate evidence-based design features. 


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. See all past EBD Journal Clubs, here.



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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Suite 1083
Concord, CA 94520
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