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

March 8, 2018

The Scoop

Design Interventions

The prevalence of mental health and substance abuse conditions in the United States continues to increase in frequency, placing new challenges and demands on healthcare providers and their facilities. 

Behavioral and mental health (BMH) conditions affect one of five adults in the U.S. each year and are even more common among patients receiving care for medical conditions. Up to 45% of patients admitted to the hospital for a medical condition or presenting to the emergency department with a minor injury also have a concurrent BMH condition. These BMH comorbidities increase the risk of psychological harm associated with care. Providing these patients with a healing, therapeutic environment should be an important goal for health design. Design interventions aimed at improving the psychological well-being of patients with BMH comorbidities may be more cost-effective than they initially appear, because they can be leveraged to support improved well-being for other populations as well, including other patients, staff, and visitors.

To help with these challenges, The Center has launched the Behavioral and Mental Health Toolbox, containing newly-created and Center staff-curated content - research findings, expert insights, strategies, tools, and other useful resources connecting the built environment to better health outcomes and reduced cost of care. Typically, a portion of each of our Topic Toolboxes is free and open to all, while Affiliate+ members have access to the complete toolbox. Because of the generous support of our partners - architecture+, Stance Healthcare and Whitehall Manufacturing, the publication of all behavioral & mental health materials produced for this toolbox are available and free to all until March, 2019. 

We will continue to add to our behavioral and mental health design resources throughout the year.  One event you won't want to miss is the upcoming Behavioral Health—Strategic Facility Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line Workshop, September 27, 2018 in Baltimore. This one day interactive, collaborative, problem-solving workshop 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. Join us and engage with a faculty of experts in behavioral health and design to set the stage for the path forward. To learn more - click here.

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's 25th Anniversary campaign. Donations will help us achieve our 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.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

Be well,

Debra Levin, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


Answering The Call For Behavioral Healthcare In Pediatric Facilities

Delivering specialty care is in the DNA of children’s hospitals, where the sickest of kids go to receive expert treatment for the most complex conditions. “Children’s hospitals revolve around sub-specialty care niches—neonatology, pediatric oncology, pediatric cardiology, orthopedics—because when a child’s sick, you need this whole cadre of specialists to come take care of them,” says Diane Osan, principal at FKP|Cannon Design (Houston).

Now, many pediatric hospitals are widening their specialty scope to include behavioral health, driven by the rising number of patients with behavioral health needs who are presenting at children’s hospitals, as well as growing recognition of mental health conditions and increased funding to treat them. “It’s finally getting attention as an issue,” Osan says. “There’s increased awareness of the long-term challenges for society if we don’t deal with mental health problems.” Healthcare Design,  more. . . 


Apple's plans to open a number of healthcare centers for its employees surfaced this week.

Called the "AC Wellness Network," the centers will offer "a unique concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependents," according to a website Apple set up for the initiative.

"AC Wellness is an independent medical practice exclusively dedicated to delivering Passionate, Compassionate, and Effective Healthcare to Apple employees and their families ... in multiple stunning, state of the art Wellness Centers," reads the post. TECHNEWSWORLD, more . . .


New Insights into Healthcare Wayfinding

A new report just released by the Sign Research Foundation, “Wayfinding Management: Models & Methods in Healthcare Environments,” offers protocols to make it as easy as possible for visitors to navigate massive and often overwhelming facilities.

The report looks at best practices in large healthcare institutions where visitors rely on signs and maps to guide them through these ever-changing landscapes. Many of these best practices may be applied outside healthcare—to any complex facility that relies on efficiently navigating visitors. Digital Sign Connection, more . . .


What Keeps You Up at Night? 

We asked those who visited our expo hall booth at Healthcare Design Expo & Conference to participate in a survey, sponsored by Gerflor, answering the question "what keeps you up at night?".  Participants had three votes and chose from 12 topics - or they could write in a topic. We plan to use the results from this survey to provide direction on where we will next focus our efforts to provide tools that address current needs.  See the survey results here.

We'd lke to thank Gerflor for sponsoring this survey and invite you read more about the innovation and research behind Gerflor's Mypiom Sybioz.




Patient and Staff Safety - A Systems Approach: Strategies for Improving Safety through Design,
a Pebble in Practice Workshop

Dates: June 25-26

Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile
633 N. St. Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Register by April 30, 2018 and Save with Early Bird Rates

Committed to providing design solutions that reduce injury and error?

Now more than ever healthcare organizations are searching for tools and strategies that will reduce error, help mitigate risk, and optimize reimbursements.

Does design have a role to play? Of course. But it can’t be considered in a silo. What is required? A systems approach that considers design in the context of the organization, operations, and people.

Join us for this 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.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll hear from healthcare design and safety thought leaders who will share real world experiences and future-looking insights into:

How organizations can integrate “designing for safety” to minimize risk

Benefits and strategies for employing a systems approach

Issues and impacts in six critical safety areas: infections, falls, medication errors, security, injuries of behavioral health, and patient handling

Overview of the Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) Toolkit that helps teams proactively consider safety during design and meet requirements of the FGI Guidelines

Sponsored by:


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 662 key point summaries 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: 


Washington DC, April 11, 2018

Nashville, May 17, 2018

Chicago, July 19, 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. 

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.

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. 


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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