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

July 13, 2017

The Scoop

The Heat is On

The lazy days of summer are upon us but, here at The Center, we are in a fast-paced, planning-mode for not only the remainder of our summer events, but also all the upcoming fall events. There's quite a lot to look forward to from the July and August webinars and EBD Journal Clubs, to the fall events including:

All of these events offer you the chance to learn about new design strategies to help tackle even the most challenging design issues from today's leading content experts.

I am glad to hear that some of you are using our on-demand webinars as "lunch and learn" occasions - providing teams the opportunity to come together as a group, learn and earn AIA/EDAC CEUs.  Our library of on-demand webinars continues to grow - now with over 70 webinars to choose from, you can easily find a topic that addresses the challenges facing the team today. 

Stay up-to-date with all the learning opportunities we offer, both in-person and online, by viewing 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


Getting Started: Approaching and Funding Smart Improvements in Healthcare Facilities

Canada’s Royal University Hospital (RUH) invested CAD $13.6 million in critical facility upgrades that will save the acute-care facility CAD $1.4 million per year. The long list of infrastructure upgrades includes improvements to lighting, water use, the building envelope, steam pipes and traps, hot water pumps and the ventilation system. In addition, the hospital connected occupancy sensors and upgraded digital controls to better control the hospital environment.

Elsewhere, healthcare systems are investing in new technologies that improve clinical efficiencies and patient experience. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tracks the patient service process, from check-in to the delivery of service, monitors staff for productivity gains and simplifies searches for equipment and other assets. In patient rooms, smart devices allow patients to control temperatures, position beds, open and close blinds, describe pain levels, order food and call staff. 
Healthcare Facilities Today, more... 


Design Practices Contribute to Stabilization Unit Safety*

Designing a mental health facility requires special considerations to protect the safety and dignity of patients in a fragile psychiatric state as well as ensure the security of staff. Previously, designs focused on safety restricted freedom, further stigmatizing patients. Today, we recognize that providing both safety and dignity are not only possible but beneficial to the healing process.

The demand for inpatient behavioral health beds often exceeds the available supply, leaving patients who are in crisis in emergency departments for up to several days while awaiting placement. Emergency department crisis rooms are designed for immediate intervention and safe holding rather than treatment and recovery and can exacerbate an at-risk patient’s situation. One innovative way some hospitals meet the demand for behavioral health beds is by creating an inpatient stabilization unit (ISU). 
Behavioral Healthcare Executive, more . . .

* What role can the built environment play in solving the growing mental health and substance abuse crises? Join today's top experts on September 26, 2017 in Arlington, VA, at our next Pebble in Practice Workshop - "Behavioral Health—Strategic Facility Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line"  More information here.


Healthcare Facility Microgrids Can Mean More Reliable, Lower-Cost Energy

The senior population is on a path to double in the U.S, and even triple in Europe, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This creates pressure to expand hospitals, healthcare networks, assisted living facilities, adult day care and nursing homes.

Add advances in medical technology, which result in new equipment that needs to be housed, and it’s easy to see why so many hospitals are adding new wings, buildings and satellites. A survey of 3,125 hospital executives last year found that 70 percent had projects under construction or planned in the next three years.

All of this expansion means a greater need for energy — in a sector that is already highly energy intensive. 
Microgrid Knowledge, more ...


Five Strategies for Building Up an Ambulatory Care Network

Implementing five key planning strategies can help health systems to create ambulatory care networks that improve patient outcomes and operate more efficiently, according to a white paper authored by the head of a leading U.S. health care project management firm. 

Instead of the acute care hospital, the hub of the health delivery system will consist of a coordinated network of ambulatory care points, including, but not limited to:

  • Primary care and specialty clinics
  • Surgery centers
  • Imaging centers and labs
  • Medical office buildings
  • Retail clinics
  • Urgent care centers and freestanding EDs
  • Telehealth facilities

Health Facilities Management,  more . . .





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



The Behavioral Health Facility Design Workshop 
Don’t miss this affordable, high-return day - a chance to learn from experts & re-charge your batteries

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

Workshop participants will learn of strategic design innovations that improve treatment outcomes, safety and the bottom line. Join us for 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 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. 

Who Should Attend

This unique experience is ideal for individuals who are intending to design new mental and behavioral health facilities and those wishing to evaluate the quality of their existing facilities.

  • Healthcare architects, planners, designers, and consultants
  • Behavioral health facility or department directors, physicians, nurses and managers
  • Healthcare facilities and planning executives
  • Hospital executives with behavioral health department oversight
  • Product manufacturers

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 an upcoming webinar 
"Healthcare Reform and Quality Care Improvement Update" July 20, 2017


After almost fifteen years of incremental healthcare reform legislation, reimbursement practices are shifting from volume-based, fee-for-service payments to payments based on the quality of care received by patients. Architects, designers and facility managers have an important role in contributing to solutions that help owners achieve targeted outcomes.  This webinar will provide an overview of the design team implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) three pay-for-performance programs, including the Hospital Readmissions Reduction, Hospital Value-based Purchasing, which includes Hospital Consumer Assessment of the Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, and the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program.

More information 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. 


Member Projects

The Center's Affiliate Member community is a vital part of our mission to transform healthcare environments in a quickly changing world to become healthier and safer. Come see the projects Affiliate members are working on, including the project's mission, vision and lessons learned. 

Clinic Design Post-Occupancy Evaluation Toolkit

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



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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