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

August 24, 2017

The Scoop

The Power of Collective Impact

One of the best feelings I get is when I speak with someone who lets me know just how important The Center's work is. These conversations usually focus on a certain tool or resource that was particularly helpful or occurs at an event with industry experts that we host. I realize, when I have these conversations, that The Center and the projects that are built using our tools and resources, are examples of the power of collective impact.  Our work and the resources we provide, depend on the commitment of our community which includes many people from different sectors, all working to support a common mission. This collaboration and support comes to us through many different types of relationships, including our partners, sponsors, members, educators and volunteers who work with our dedicated staff toward common goals, sharing case studies, participating in virtual and in-person educational events, and helping us to create and produce tools and resources that move our industry forward.  

I attribute much of our success to the momentum and energy created by this collective impact - ongoing conversations that help us anticipate emerging concerns and trends that, in turn, provide direction for us to research and create distinctive offerings, transforming promising concepts into needle-moving solutions vital to supporting innovation in healthcare design. 

Everyone needs a chance to recharge, learn about new design strategies, meet industry experts and get inspired.  We've got several upcoming events that will do just that -  make sure you pick up on some of this positive energy and get the following events on your calendar including:

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 are just a few of the open resources you can 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


Hospitals Focus on Increase in Baby Boomers and Elderly

Dr. Shawn Evans scrolled through the list of patients booked into the emergency department at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla on a recent morning.

Of the 18 patients on the intake screen, a third were 65 or older. Three were over 80.

"There is seldom a day when we’re not seeing five, 10 or 20 people over 90 years old in here. It’s incredible,” said Evans, who as a longtime emergency physician has a front-row seat to a dramatic shift in America’s demographics.

As the nation’s population ages, hospitals in California and across the country are bracing for ever-increasing numbers of elderly people landing in the emergency room. These patients often require more complex care than younger adults, yet emergency departments are typically ill-equipped to handle their special needs.

In San Diego County, however, that’s starting to change. In fact, San Diego-area hospitals are at the forefront of what amounts to a grand experiment to overhaul geriatric emergency care on the West Coast. It’s an experiment because the trend of customizing ER treatment for older patients hasn’t existed long enough for a comprehensive assessment, and the studies conducted so far have yielded mixed results in terms of whether such efforts boost recovery times, lower hospital readmission rates and ultimately save taxpayers money. 
The San Diego Union Tribune, more . . .


Alaskan Health Center is Model to Integrate Mental Health into Primary Care

A health center in Anchorage, Alaska, was ahead of its time. Since 1985, Southcentral Foundation, a center that serves native Alaskans, has woven mental health services into its primary care practice.

The center has had impressive results and is now being held up as a model as the healthcare system looks at ways to better provide mental health services to patients.

Bringing both mental and physical care under one roof is now being touted at as a way organizations can help patients and save money. Southcentral integrated that care after conducting a survey of its community and finding the top five health priorities were all related to mental health, including issues such as child sexual abuse, behavioral health counseling and addictions.
FierceHealthcare, more . . .

* What impact do design decisions have on behavioral health outcomes? 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 Facilities Energy Effficiency Challenge

Healthcare facilities face special challenges in energy efficiency. Not only must they cope with the well know challenges of energy management, they must do so in a setting that is as mission-critical as it is possible to be. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that an energy manager is a key player on a patient’s healthcare team.

The first challenge is that they simply can’t go offline. It’s one thing to close down an assembly line or even lose stock in a refrigerator when it fails. It’s another thing to lose power in the emergency room. It can’t happen. The second element that puts pressure on hospitals is that energy is used for more things than perhaps any other type of facility: Like universities and lodges, hospitals provide energy for living quarters, offices and laundry and food services. On top of that, however, is all the medical equipment. 
Energy Manager Today, more. . .


Advocate Saved $4.8M with Focus on Nutrition

Improving patient nutrition can save hospitals a lot of money, according to a new study.

Advocate Health Care launched two nutrition models at four of its Chicago hospitals in 2014, and since then has enrolled more than 1,200 patients in the programs and saved more than $4.8 million in costs, according to research published in the journal American Health & Drug Benefits. Most of the savings came from reduced readmissions and shorter patient stays, averaging about $3,800 per patient.

Previous research has suggested that disease-driven malnutrition is a financial burden on the healthcare system, increasing treatment costs by as much as $15.5 billion per year. The per capita costs vary by state, ranging from $36 in Utah to $65 in the District of Columbia.

Advocate studied the impacts of its nutrition programs on its readmission rates, and it found that readmissions decreased by 27% and cut stays by two days. Using that data as a baseline, researchers at healthcare company Abbott Laboratories estimated the cost impacts. FierceHealthcare,  more . . .






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



The Behavioral Health Facility Design Workshop -
Early Bird Rate Ends Next Week, August 31 

Don’t miss this affordable, high-return day - a chance to learn from experts & re-charge your batteries.

Win speaker Mardelle Shepley's new book and a one-year CHD webinar pass. (Over 75 webinars to choose from - each regularly priced at $65 and all worth one AIA/EDAC education unit.)

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

Workshop participants will learn about 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

Hurry to get the
early bird rate and b
e entered to win Mardelle Shepley's new book and a one-year CHD webinar pass.

 Click for details.




The Center's Knowledge Repository

A complete, user-friendly library of healthcare design resources that continues to grow with the latest research - it's the place to start all of your searches for articles and research citations on healthcare design topics. 

Enjoy this free resource with over 599 key point summaries here.



We invite you

to submit your project application to the EBD Touchstone Awards: 

This award – a natural next step in the EBD progression – recognizes the use of an evidence-based design process in the pursuit of increasing value, improving outcomes, and engagement of stakeholders. Awards are given to projects that show exemplary achievement across touchstones of the EBD process: collaboration, evaluation, and sharing.

Award Criteria: Using a detailed evaluation matrix — created by The Center and based on more than two decades of work and collaboration across the health design community — submissions will be judged based upon their success in achieving identified criteria in the following three categories:

Collaborate: Submissions must demonstrate interdisciplinary team and stakeholder education, engagement and development.

Evaluate: Submissions must demonstrate the extent to which research was found, evaluated, and applied to link design to outcomes and measurement of results.

Share: Submissions must demonstrate how the EBD process was applied and how the knowledge gained was disseminated, captured, and has the potential for application to future projects.

Awards are determined based on how well the project meets criteria to achieve different levels of recognition. Applicants are not compared to one another; only against award criteria. Those who submit to the awards program by September 15, 2017 and are awarded an EBD Touchstone Award will be recognized at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference on November 11, 2017. 

More information here.

EBD Touchstone Awards Legacy Sponsor:

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. 


Patient-Centered Medical Home Design Evaluation Checklist 

This tool provides healthcare designers and professionals with patient-centered medical home principles/goals and how environmental, operational and people measures can be implemented to achieve said goal. 


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

© 2017 The Center for Health Design

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