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

December 14, 2017

The Scoop

Reflections in Gratitude

It's that time of year again when we take stock of the last 12 months and start to define our focus going forward into the new year. It is amazing to see all that has happened both here at The Center and in the world, this last year.  Although there are both happy and difficult stories to tell, through it all, it is important to stay grateful.  I think one of my favorite definitions of gratitude comes from The Harvard Medical School who define it as, "a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power". 

At The Center, we are very grateful for all our members, sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff.  Because of this community, we have been able to continue to add to our resources this year. We launched the online version of the Safety Risk Assessment Toolkit, added Healthcare at Home to the Design Insights and Strategies Tool, produced 24 ICONS and Innovators webinars (now available on demand), provided three free EBD Journal Club webinars, and produced two Pebble in Practice workshops focused on the emergency department and behavioral health.

Our very own Ellen Taylor, vice president for research, was named as a recipient of the HCD10 Award, and we welcomed two new BEN members; Mark Haney from WellStar Health System and Doug Erickson from Facilities Guidelines Institute.

I’d like to thank all of you for your support, engagement and encouraging words as well as your thoughtful critique throughout the year that keeps us going and helps us to continue to get better at what we do. 

Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons, good health and great adventures in 2018.

Debra Levin, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


How to Design and Build What’s Needed to Meet Organizational Goals and Strategies

Planners are often asked to test a facilities concept, define how much space it will take, and determine how much it will cost to complete. These questions are useful in the early concept phase of a project, but the basis for planning is missing; what am I solving for, and how does this potential “bricks and mortar” solution meet a defined service, market, or strategic need of the organization? It’s all about scoping the right concept before getting too far down the facility planning phase. 

Defining and documenting project scope (the project intention, goal, or purpose) at the outset and controlling scope throughout the planning and delivery process is essential to ensuring the project vision becomes reality. Healthcare Facilities Today, more . . .


Research Matters: Patient Rooms And Stress

A 2017 article by Andrade and colleagues, who tested Roger Ulrich’s theory of supportive design, offers findings that suggest how certain design elements may reduce patient stress.

Why does it matter?
There is mounting evidence of the link between the physical environment and health outcomes. Stress is a particular outcome of interest in the healthcare setting because reduced stress has been linked to improved patient satisfaction and recovery. There is no “magic bullet” design solution for stress reduction, but a better understanding of the link between design and stress can help healthcare leadership make better design decisions.

While there are many assumptions about how the environment affects patient stress, there are few formal theories to help us understand the mechanisms--or underlying psychological processes--behind the effect. There are also few studies that test existing theories, which makes it hard for designers to know if they should rely on these theories or not.  Healthcare Design, more. . . 


Despite the importance of urban medical centers to our communities, it's their considerable constraints and not their humanistic missions that typically drive design. Whether shielded behind parking lots or landscaping, or announcing their presence in the neighborhood with impenetrable, mute walls, these facilities are generally “non-urban” at best.

Although arguably the epitome of the community facility, these buildings are almost always incongruous interruptions in a city’s fabric. Even though they are large, highly complex structures packed with critical programs and adjacencies, there's a way to better weave these facilities into our communities. They can feel more "a part of" than "apart from" our lives and the public realm.
Healthcare Design, more . . .


CVS Plans to Turn Stores into Healthcare Hubs

CVS Health is looking to create a national network of community medical clinics that will serve as "America's front door to quality health care."

That's the goal, according to CEO Larry Merlo on his company's deal for Aetna. It's an ambitious one for CVS, a company better known as a quick stop for Tylenol and a Coke.

To get there, CVS agreed to pay $69 billion in cash and stock for Aetna, the companies said Sunday. The companies said that together they want to offer more health care services in CVS drugstores.

"CVS wants to be more than just a retail outlet," says Craig Garthwaite, a professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. "They're expanding the retail clinics so they won't be quite urgent care, but they'll resemble a direct primary care facility." NPR, more . . .




Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award Applications Open
December 13, 2017 - February 7, 2018

Recognizing exemplary use of an evidence-based design process in healthcare facility projects.

  • Award levels – Silver, Gold, and Platinum, each reflecting greater application of the EBD process and principles.
  • Review by expert jury panels – a cross section of key industry leaders.
  • Recognition of award recipients at HCD Expo & Conference, EFA Expo & Conference, and in Healthcare Design magazine.
  • Additional opportunities for award recipients to promote their achievement.

Next Submission Deadline
February 7, 2018

Click here for more information or submission criteria.

EBD Touchstone Awards Legacy Sponsor:



Impact Of Aging Resources Open to All Until December 31, 2017

As people live longer and longer, managing the needs of the aging population is more important than ever. Medical and technological advancements are changing healthcare for the better, giving facility designers and medical professionals new ways to provide flexible models of care and help individuals age in place. 

The Impact of Aging Toolbox is aimed at helping facility designers and medical professionals understand and implement the best possible solutions to support the challenges and opportunities brought about by the growing senior population.  These innovative solutions support:

  • Universal Design as Sustainable Design
  • Intergenerational Workplaces
  • Intergenerational Communities
  • Aging in Place
  • In-Home Hospitalization
  • Minimizing Transitions among Care Settings
  • Mobile Health and Telemedicine

Access Impact of Aging resources here.

In partnership with:
J+J Flooring Group



We invite you

to take the EDAC Exam Risk Free!* 

Become EDAC Certified Risk Free. The credential

  • recognizes your EBD expertise 
  • demonstrates your value as a team member
  • opens doors to cutting edge projects
  • improves communication and collaboration skills

To take advantage of the risk free offer,

  • register for the EDAC Exam by 1/31/18
  • prepare and take the exam anytime during the year
  • if you don't pass, retake the exam once at no charge

Click here to register and use code: HCD17XTP.

* this offer is for new EDAC exam registrants only. Certification must be completed within one year of registration (candidates are restricted to two retakes and a 60-day waiting period between exams). Free retake applies only to the second exam.


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. 

On Demand Webinars

A library of 81 on demand webinars provide the opportunity to catch up on what is happening in the industry.  Watch at your convenience and get one EDAC/AIA CEU.  More information here.

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. Click here to access.

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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