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

March 22, 2018

The Scoop

Almost April

It's hard to believe we are already heading into the month of April!  And what a full month it will be. We have two webinars in April, one on April 12 titled, "Designing for Adolescents in Mental Health Crisis: A Story of Research, Innovation, and Hope" that discusses how design can support a seclusion- and restraint-free care model and how pushing beyond the conventions of behavioral healthcare design was achieved at a 27-bed adolescent behavioral health unit in Tacoma, Wash. The second webinar, on April 26, is "Microhospitals: Key Considerations for Planning and Design", explores the how the increasingly popular microhospital design requires a clear strategy, a sound operational model, and a clinical support plan in order to be successful. These microhospitals have the potential for a significant impact on a health system’s future in response to the changing economics and clinical delivery of healthcare. 

I'm also looking forward to the Environments for Aging Expo & Conference in Savannah, Georgia on April 21 - 24. It's three days filled with seeing old friends, enjoying keynote presentations, workshops, walking tours and making discoveries in an expo hall filled with the latest innovative products. It's an opportunity to become inspired with the latest strategies, products and ideas in design for aging lifestyles. 

And, finally, April 30 is the last day to get early bird savings for the Design for Patient and Staff Safety: A Systems Approach Workshop in Chicago on June 25 - 26.  This is a day-and-a-half interactive, collaborative, problem-solving workshop where a faculty of design, facility and care professionals will offer lessons learned and new thinking in both design and organizational strategies that support improved patient and staff safety.  

As we continue to celebrate our 25th year, our pledge to you is to continue to offer you the needed tools, resources and insights to ensure all healthcare environments are healthy, safe and produce the best possible outcomes for patients, families, and staff. Watch for announcements of the many planned celebration activities. You can also be a part of our celebration by donating to The Center for Health Design. Donations will help us achieve the research, education, and advocacy goals that will unleash design's healing power in the U.S. and abroad and help us to reach our financial goal of ensuring a strong future for decades yet to come. Click here to make a contribution to The Center and make a difference in the future of healthcare.  

Be well,

Debra Levin, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


Infection Control is a Key Priority and Challenge for High-Performing Hospitals

Cone Health has made prevention of hospital-acquired infections a strategic priority for its organization. 

The infections can not only harm or kill patients, they are also costly; HAIs lengthen hospital stays, cause readmissions and eat up valuable resources. 

A major part of Cone Health's strategy to attack infections is prevention. For instance, the system now tests patients before scheduled procedures for the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause MRSA infections and lead to sepsis, pneumonia or bloodstream infections. If a patient does have such a bacterial infection, clinicians use a medication before surgery to treat it. Patients are also told to bathe before surgery with a specific soap. Modern Healthcare,  more. . . 


Healthgrades released its rankings for America's 50 and 100 Best Hospitals for 2018, according to an article on the Healthgrades website.

The hospitals on the lists represent the top one percent and two percent of healthcare facilities in the nation, respectively.

Patients treated at hospitals listed among the top 50 and 100 hospitals have a 22.3 percent lower risk of dying, according to Healthgrades, an online resource for information about physicians and hospitals.  Healthgrades, more . . .


Preventive Measures For Safety And Security

Violence in hospitals is an endemic problem affecting nurses in all settings, and those working in emergency departments are particularly vulnerable to attacks. In a 2009 survey by the Emergency Nurses Association, one-quarter of 3,465 ED nurses surveyed reported more than 20 physical assaults and 200 verbal assaults during a three-year period. A 2012 follow-up survey found that 55 percent of the 6,500 nurses surveyed had been the target of physical or verbal abuse in the previous week alone.

However, it’s not just nurses who are potentially in danger—EDs are among the highest risk areas for other staff as well as for patients and visitors. In an era of skyrocketing healthcare costs, overcrowded jails, and a historic shortage of available mental health beds, EDs are often the only viable option for ill people in desperate situations who may at times be aggressive and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Add to that long wait times, stressful situations, and unrestricted 24-hour access, and EDs become a hotbed of unrest that can boil over into violence.  Healthcare Design, more . . .


Note - The Center's upcoming Patient and Staff Safety Workshop will highlight a systems approach that considers design in the context of the organization, operations, and people. Join us for a day-and-a-half interactive, collaborative, problem-solving workshop where design, facility and care professionals will offer lessons learned and new thinking in both design and organizational strategies that support improved patient and staff safety. More information here.




There's Still Time to Attend Today's Webinar - "Evidence-Based Design in the Rural Healthcare Setting: Does it Matter?"

Date:  Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time:  11:00 am Pacific/2:00 pm Eastern
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: FREE

This FREE webinar will focus on an exploratory approach to the role of evidence-based design in the rural healthcare setting.  Observations, conversations, participatory research methods, and thought processes that led presenter, Chris Haddox, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Design at West Virginia University, to explore how the delivery of healthcare in his largely rural native West Virginia might be improved through a focus on the physical facilities. 

More information here

Thanks to our sponsors:



Toward a Framework for Designing Person-Centered Mental Health Interiors for Veterans

The Veteran's Administration (VA), recognizing the potential influence that nurturing interior environments may have on patient well-being, has been designing and constructing mental health settings intended to calm, restore, and revive. Unfortunately, limited research investigates the links between the interior environment and mental health outcomes that can be used for guiding the design for these facilities. This webinar seeks to provide a framework for designing person-centered mental health interiors that would be supportive of human factors for a healthcare organization's clinical and operational staff as well as Veterans. The framework is intended to assist healthcare providers in achieving mental health aims through thoughtful, evidence-based, person-centered design.

Enjoy this free resource here.


We invite you


to join us for Health Design Insights Networking Events

Come meet and connect with CHD Affiliate members and the regional healthcare design community for "Innovations in Healthcare Design" - an informal, creative presentation, (worth one EDAC/AIA CEU credit), with wine, hors d’oeuvres and networking.

These events are FREE to CHD Affiliate Members and Partners.  Non-members can attend for a $65 donation which can later be applied towards membership.  Contact Lynn Kenney for details,

Upcoming Health Design Insights Events: 

Nashville, May 17, 2018

Chicago, July 26, 2018

New York, September 13, 2018

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

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