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

October 5, 2017

The Scoop

Cognitive Overload

There is so much happening in the world right now, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed. Much of what we are feeling is a direct result of not only all the natural disasters that have been occurring, but also the many senseless acts of violence and how fast and continuous news is fed to our devices sharing every facet of what happened.  This constant deluge of news can actually cause our brains to begin to become easly confused and unfocused. This feeling of cognitive overload is a reminder of how important our work as healthcare architects, designers, manufacturers and administrators is.  

We know that the best patient experience is one that will reduce stress, making the experience easy for both the patient and family members.  And we know that first-rate healthcare facility designs can have very tangible results. But the people who enter and use the facility likely have no idea that it took hundreds of crucial design decisions in order to guide them safely and efficiently to their destination, while keeping them relaxed and maybe even comforted. We've seen that many that organizations with a culture that focuses on the patient experience are rewarded with higher clinical quality and efficiency, a safer patient environment, greater employee engagement, and improved financial results.

That all sounds great, but where do you start?  What tools are available that will provide guidance for such a patient-centric design?  What resources are there that can provide some much needed inspiration?  The Center's website is chock full of such resources including events - both virtual and in-person, along with the latest research and tools. Here are a couple of upcoming events to get on your calendar:

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:

In my last newsletter column, I mentioned an exciting new educational program I attended in Maine last month but inadvertently left out the name of the program, which many of you have since written and asked for. It was the second annual Healthcare Design Forum produced by Healthcare Design magazine. I hope to see some of you there next year so we can be inspired together.

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


Research Matters: Flooring and the Chain of Infection

To use an evidence-based design process, you have to know what the best available evidence is. But research is published faster than anyone can read it. In this blog series, The Center for Health Design’s research team will provide insight into a few healthcare design research matters through a snapshot of 10 studies published since the 2016 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference. Serving as a sneak peek of an upcoming session at the 2017 HCD Expo, the blogs will identify why this research matters and help readers ride the waves of an ocean of research without drowning.

The research
A 2017 “brief report” by Dr. Abhishek Deshpande and colleagues, who evaluated the frequency of Clostridium difficile (CDI), Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) on isolation room floors and examined the potential for transfer from floors to hands.

Healthcare Design, more . . .


Safe Haven: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Several years ago, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) noticed an increasing number of patients seeking medical treatment who also had behavioral health conditions, such as children exhibiting suicidal or other self-harm tendencies or who fall on the autism spectrum. To address these comorbidities, modifications were made to the 546-bed hospital, such as adding anti-ligature and other safety features to patient rooms and training more staff to handle kids in crisis.

It was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t answer the fact that patients were often scattered throughout the hospital, with staff and equipment brought to them on an as-needed basis. “We were attempting to provide high-quality behavioral health support, essentially throughout the entire enterprise, and that created some significant challenges for doing that as well as we would have liked, and as consistently,” says Doug Carney, senior vice president of facilities at CHOP.

Additionally, without an inpatient unit dedicated to the specific needs of such patients, behavioral health treatments often had to be delayed until they were released from the hospital, says Natalie Miovski Hagerty, director of facilities planning at CHOP. 
Healthcare Design, more . . .


5 elements for a healthy medical lounge

What happened to the doctor’s lounge? Senior physicians often recall the lounge as the buzzing hub of the hospital where they traded news and bonded with their peers. This social interaction is important. Medical interns tell us they learn the most about their profession via the personal encounters during physician’s rounds.

Doctors-only rooms are increasingly rare today, but these anecdotes tell us how medical professionals and institutions benefit from connections made throughout the day and the necessity of collaboration and peer interaction in healthcare settings.  

If the medical care team lounge exists at all today, it’s a drab afterthought. They are windowless boxes with artificial light and limited furniture—an undesirable third place. With belt-tightening efforts in healthcare facilities, these spaces are often the first to go or be converted to other purposes. But these lounges are actually quite important. I think it’s time we took them more seriously as an essential part of the medical workplace.

Stantec, more . . .


New Loma Linda hospital designed to move up and down during an earthquake

The new Loma Linda University Medical Center will be the first in the country engineered to bob up and down during an earthquake, construction engineers said recently.

While hospitals in California have been built to accommodate horizontal movement for decades, the $1.4 billion redo of the adult hospital at 11234 Anderson St., in Loma Linda takes it vertical for the first time, said Richard E. White, a principal and senior construction manager with Oakland-based Jtec HCM, a healthcare construction management company.

“This is the latest level in technology,” said White, whose firm is managing the construction engineering for the project.
The Sun, more . . 








Get Registered for Special Sessions at the HCD Expo & Conference

Going to Healthcare Design Expo & Conference?  Once registered, you can reserve your spot in the EBD coaching pre-conference workshop that explores the practical application of evidence-based design into your projects. Then, get prepared for the EDAC Exam with a comprehensive study session taught by industry experts.  

Saturday, November 11

W01 - Coaching Workshop, Practical Application of Evidence-Based Design​
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

​This unique workshop is an excellent opportunity to bring EBD concepts into practice, offering an introduction to EBD as well as personal consultation about how to integrate the EBD process into your project(s).​

W06 - EDAC Examination Preparation Workshop
(3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)

This comprehensive study session prepares you to take the EDAC exam by offering general information about the exam, the types of questions on the exam, a detailed review of the three study guides, an overview of the five domains included on the Exam Content Outline, a summary of key concepts, and time for Q&A.

Monday, November 13

EDAC Exam 
A17 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
A21 5:00 - 7:00 pm

HCD conference attendees have the opportunity to take the EDAC Exam at conference and take advantage of a 10% discount + risk free offer - you can retake the exam once at no charge if you do not pass.  Candidates must register AND schedule through the testing administrator, Castle Worldwide by October 13, 2017 to avoid a $50 walk in fee, use code HCD17.





The patient room, the most repetitive space in acute care facilities, offers many opportunities to incorporate evidence-based design features. This set of interactive diagrams provides access to the healthcare design evidence base in an accessible and actionable format.

Enjoy this free resource here.



We invite you

to a webinar - Analysis and Simulation: Improving Team-Based Primary Care Design

The Military Health System is moving all primary care to the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care within a spectrum of purpose-designed healthcare buildings and retrofits of older medical facilities. The goal is to achieve better experience of care, per capita cost, population health, and overall readiness. This session summarizes the newest research evidence about how design can improve the delivery of team-based ambulatory care, discusses new metrics being delivered jointly between the Military Health System and Georgia Tech, and discusses how to design for a system with a wide spectrum of purpose-designed healthcare buildings and retrofits of older medical facilities.

Worth one EDAC/AIA continuing education unit, this webinar will provide insights around:

  • The basic care process and built environment features of the PCMH.

  • How PCMH design can affect the delivery and outcomes of care and metrics for evaluating designs.

  • The metrics for understanding the likely effects of design on outcomes.

  • How to understand design strategies for a system that includes both greenfield clinics and existing buildings.

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. 

The Center's Job Board

The Center for Health Design's Job Board is an employment resource for those seeking positions in healthcare architecture, design, facility planning or other related fields. Browse the positions currently advertised by companies or organizations that support CHD and our mission of improving the quality of healthcare through design research, education and advocacy.

Knowledge Repository

A complete, user-friendly library of healthcare design resources that continues to grow with the latest research. Start with our Knowledge Repository for all of your searches for articles and research citations on healthcare design topics.





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.

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