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The Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards
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The Center for Health Design - Currents Newsletter

January 25, 2018

The Scoop

Shaping the Future

Today, to kick-off our 25th Anniversary celebration, we are offering a webinar with the 2017 Changemaker Award winner, Dr. Mardelle Shepley, free of charge.

Dr. Shepley will explore the intersection of art and science, and illustrate that each, in their finest expressions, are one and the same. She will investigate the nature of the human mind, how no single approach can provide all the answers to complex problems, and finally how one cannot be a socially responsible designer or scientist without using both intuition and research. Join us today and learn how to evaluate yourself on the spectrum of artistic orientation versus scientific orientation. If you'd like to attend, just click here to learn more and register.  If you can't make today's webinar, it will be available within one week on demand. Click here to see any of our 85 on demand webinars.

A lot has changed over the last 25 years, but the need to provide healthcare environments that are safe, accessible and patient-centric has not. We must continue to create healthcare environments that contribute to health outcomes and the health of our communities. And to be successful, we must share our learnings, create new tools and provide the very best resources that contribute to the quality of life of the patients, families and staff who are in the healthcare facilites we build.

As we continue to celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year, watch for announcements of upcoming opportunities to be a part of The Center's future, along with the many planned celebration activities.   

Be well,

Debra Levin, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


Indoor Environments Can Have Profound Impact On Staff

Improved indoor environmental quality doubled participants' scores on cognitive function tests, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University. Primary support for the study came from United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) and its UTC Climate, Controls & Security business.

"The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function" study found that employees' cognitive performance scores averaged 101 percent higher in green building environments with enhanced ventilation compared to a conventional building environment.
United Technologies, The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function,  more. . . 


Excessive noise can be distracting in any work environment. You might expect that to be an issue on a construction site or at an airport, but not in the OR.

A recent story published online by OR Today serves as a reminder that it can get loud in the OR, too, adding another degree of difficult to already-challenging tasks.

“Noise is a distraction that interrupts patient care and potentially increases the risk for error,” Mary J. Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR, senior perioperative practice specialist with the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), told OR Today. “It may minimize the ability of OR team members to communicate effectively, making it difficult to understand content and contributing to miscommunication.”

And that not only puts patients in peril, but potentially your employees, too. HCPro, more . . .


Designing a Sense of Community within a Senior Living Community

We often use the word “community” to describe the actual physical space in which senior residents live and engage. We sometimes forget that the true goal of a senior living community is to establish a sense of community.

Interior design can be used to help develop this sense of community, one that goes far beyond just the physical space. Design impacts the way humans interact with the space and those around them, so the goal of designers in the senior living industry should be to not only create an attractive living space, but one that supports residents in living a fulfilling life.

How do we create designs that foster a sense of community? 
EFA, more . . .


A Fresh Approach

In 2014, leaders at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., noticed that many of its patients and families were commuting long distances from neighboring New Jersey. Adding to that burden, several of these patients required frequent follow-up visits with specialists and/or physical therapy. Upon further inspection, it was determined that although southern New Jersey was in the tertiary catchment area of other national competitors, it was underserved locally. So, Nemours decided to answer that need by developing its first large-scale, freestanding multispecialty outpatient center in a new market.

The goal was to create a facility that would attract families from across southern New Jersey with a depth of services, including specialty care clinics; ambulatory surgery; infusion; diagnostic imaging; and physical, occupational, speech, and aquatic therapy. Healthcare Design, more . . .


Finding the Right Art for Your Healthcare Project

The Center for Health Design recently presented the webinar “How to Commission Art in Your Healthcare Environment.” Speaker Stefanie O’Keefe, RFP specialist at CODAworx, an online global network that connects design projects and commissioned artwork, says art can have many positive effects on patients, and that it’s important for project teams to begin discussing their art needs as soon as possible to help save money on the art and installation budget and to ensure the works are fully integrated into the new space.

To help project teams in these tasks, including finding the right artist, commissioning new art, and planning for art projects, O’Keefe shared these tips:

Identify the project vision: The first step is to identify your project and determine where you want to display art. Start by considering your space needs and restrictions: Can the art be touched? Will it be in a public space?  Healthcare Design, more . . .





There's Still Time to Submit Your Proposal to the 2018 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference 

Are you a content expert that would like to share your knowledge at the 2018 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference? We are currently accepting presentation proposals for educational sessions and roundtable discussions.

Submit presentation ideas for consideration around:

  • patient safety and satisfaction
  • ambulatory care
  • remodeling/renovation/conversions
  • impact of technology
  • clinical perspectives
  • high performance hospital/sustainable practices
  • design for wellness          
  • innovations in facility planning and management
  • design challenges and solutions
  • specialty facilities and/or departments, (i.e. Oncology, Pediatrics, Behavior Health, OR, ED, etc.)
  • strategies for financing and operations
  • international trends and practices
  • other topics of relevance to the healthcare design industry

Presentation proposal submission deadline is January 31, 2018




With thousands of industry professionals  representing an array of countries, backgrounds and industries, Healthcare Design Expo & Conference attendees can earn continuing education credits, network with peers, and influence the direction of the industry as it advances into the future.






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

Enjoy this free resource here.


We invite you

Submit Your Project for an Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award 

There's still time to submit your 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:


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. 

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. 

Design Insights & Strategies Tool

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


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

© 2018 The Center for Health Design

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