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Patient and Staff Safety Workshop
The Center for Health Design - CURRENTS Newsletter
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The Center for Health Design - Currents Newsletter

May 3, 2018

The Scoop

Safety through Design  

Healthcare facilities use a variety of methods and protocols to reduce adverse events. But these procedures are sometimes created in a silo, limiting their effectiveness with the possibility of actually increasing injuries and errors. 

To address this, we are providing a workshop in Chicago, June 25-26, that will inform, challenge and advance your understanding of how design impacts patient and staff safety, and introduce innovative solutions from experts in six key areas:

  • Patient handling
  • Behavioral health
  • Patient falls
  • Medication errors
  • Workplace violence
  • Infection prevention

The best part is, workshop attendees will have an action plan filled with new ideas and tools to bring back to their project teams. I would like to actually encourage you to bring your team to this workshop and work directly with the nine faculty members who are really a "who's who" of safety thought leaders. You can read more about this workshop including learning objectives, the agenda and speaker bios here.

Speaking of safety, we have a Health Design Insights Networking event coming up May 17 in Nashville, where Christopher Pietrzykowski, Director, AdvanTEC, United Technologies Corporation, will describe the process used for a recently completed LEED Platinum state-of-the-art intelligent building located in Jupiter FL. Chris will illustrate how making use of advanced building solutions can create an environment that enhances building occupant experience, increases operational efficiencies as well as protect people and property.

Want even more resources with the latest thinking on safety?  Our Insights and Solutions section of the website has everything from webinars, executive summaries, EDAC Advocate firm projects to tools, interviews and more - you can find all the safety resources here.

Have you recently completed a project that used an evidence-based design process?  You might want to submit an application to the Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards. Applications for this round are due on June 15 and we are providing information sessions to answer any questions you may have on May 9,  May 11 and June 8.  Bring your questions about the awards or submission criteria to this interactive, online information session. Remember, this round of award recipients will be recognized at this year's Healthcare Design Expo & Conference. Awards are given to projects that show exemplary achievement across touchstones of the EBD process: collaboration, evaluation, and sharing. (You can see the 2017 recipients here.)

As we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary, 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. You can be a part of our celebration by donating to The Center for Health Design. Donations help us achieve the research, education, and advocacy goals that 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

Four Key Design Strategies - How Architecture Can Support a Health Care Organization's Growth

A growing body of research points to the unique edge offered by design in curbing operational costs and advancing positive patient and resident outcomes for health organizations. The combination of architectural design and clinical planning is a neutral, resourceful and mighty force that can propel advancements in health care delivery.

Through this, health care providers can overcome the social, economic and political barriers and arrive at a system that is financially alert, operationally efficient and socially responsive by design.

To create these environments to surmount the pressing challenges facing health care in the 21st century, however, long-held assumptions of what is important in health care facilities must be challenged.  Health Facilities Management, more . . .


Apple's Recent Hospital Deals May Signal Industry Shakeup

In a recent opinion piece published by the Harvard Business Review, David Blumenthal, MD, who served as the National Coordinator for Health IT from 2009 to April 2011, writes that Apple's recent pacts with big-name healthcare systems might indeed be poised to disrupt the healthcare industry.

Blumenthal co-authored the piece with former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and both contend the pact has not gotten the attention it deserves.

Apple's healthcare move "could herald truly disruptive change in the U.S. healthcare system," Blumenthal and Chopra write. How? "It could liberate healthcare data for game-changing new uses, including empowering patients as never before."

The idea is to give patients easier access to their own data. HEATHCARE FINANCE,  more. . . 


Architectural design of health care facilities, including technology and equipment, and its effect on patient safety has become a focus for health care risk managers.

To deliver safe and trusted health care, many key areas have to be considered, such as changes in the health care delivery processes, the culture of the organization and the physical environment.

The physical environment needs to be aligned with the current care delivery models to support the staff and the resources they depend on to ensure the safe delivery of care.

Understanding the interrelationships between humans, the tools they use and the environment in which they work is fundamental to the study of health care facility design and its effect on nursing performance as well as that of other care providers who interface with the facility. Humans are more apt to make errors in areas that are poorly designed. Health Facilities Management, more . . .


Sixth Annual Internationally Acclaimed CODAawards Celebrate Commissioned Art Projects

The internationally acclaimed CODAawards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the design projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The awards, selected from projects around the world, honor the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day. Submit projects for consideration by May 31, 2018. CODAworx, more. . .





Are you missing opportunities to maximize safety outcomes? Could your design solutions be causing more harm than good?

Designing for Patient and Staff Safety Workshop

Date:  June 25-26, 2018

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

While individual design strategies and selections might be expected to deliver positive, evidence-supported outcomes, making these decisions isolated – without considering their impact in the larger context of an organization, its processes and people – could limit their success and even cause damage or harm.

Come and learn how to employ a more integrated strategy – a systems approach – that considers design in the context of the organization, operations, and people to maximize safety outcomes for patients and their caregivers. And you’ll be ready to bring these new ideas back to your project teams.

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.

You'll find more information including the agenda, faculty and session descriptions here.



How Evidence-Based Design Can Support Communication to Ensure Patient Safety, an interview with Jaynelle F. Stichler, DNS, RN, EDAC, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN

Q.  Clear communication must exist during the countless interactions that occur in the healthcare setting to ensure patient safety and best outcomes. Can you explain the role of the nursing staff In carrying out such communication activities? 

A.  The American Nurses Association defines communication as one of the 17 key elements in the Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice that provides guidelines for nursing professionals to perform their work to the highest standards.

The reality is that all nurses communicate continuously during their shifts—not only with patients and families, but also with each other and with other professional partners, including physicians, lab workers, radiologists, and staff from other departments. In fact, effective communication, and the corresponding collaboration that results, is a core component of patient safety. There is not just one time or setting when nurses must communicate; effective communication is an ongoing responsibility. But there are a few areas where communication is particularly critical.

Read more here


We invite you


to attend our May virtual and in-person events: 

These thought-provoking and convenient learning events provide opportunities to inform your work strategies, obtain continuing education units (CEUs), and engage with industry innovators who are championing change. 

May 10 Webinar, "Don’t Let Your Smart Building Forget the Patient"
The “smart” building, one that uses a building management system to monitor and adjust HVAC and other systems to make the building more energy-efficient, has become a well-recognized and expected part of new healthcare construction. But can the smart building become even smarter? Can it be integrated with other technologically driven systems to be not just a smart building but a clinically smart building? 


May 17  - Nashville Health Design Insights Networking Event
Christopher Pietrzykowski, Director, AdvanTEC, United Technologies Corporation, will present "Using Smart Building Solutions to Reduce Operating Costs and Enhance Occupant Experience". He will review the 
recently completed LEED Platinum state-of-the-art intelligent building, located in Jupiter, Florida, that will serve as a headquarters office, conference center and customer showcase. Following the presentation, connect with colleagues in a casual setting over wine and hors d’oeuvres.

May 24 Webinar, "Eliminate Waiting Room Time and Increase Exam Room Utilization"
No one likes to wait, especially in a doctor’s office, where the person sitting next to you may have an illness you don’t want to catch. Yet how do you design a clinic and its workflow without a waiting room, where exam rooms are always free for the next patient, where patients make their own way through the halls, and where providers and staff easily know where to go next? In this webinar, you will learn about an innovative clinic design and care-delivery model, as well as the real-time locating system (RTLS) technology that supports it.


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. 

Safety Risk Assessment Tool

The Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) Toolkit is:

  • a proactive process that can mitigate risk
  • a discussion prompt for a multidisciplinary team
  • an evidence-based design (EBD) approach to identify solutions.

The SRA targets six areas of safety (infections, falls, medication errors, security, injuries of behavioral health, and patient handling) as required in the FGI Guidelines.

Project Highlight - Dirtworks Sensory Arts Garden

The sensory arts garden is a therapeutic space for children and adults, especially those with sensory processing challenges, providing a meaningful experience through the exploration of nature. 

If you'd like to feature your product/project here, contact Randy Carter, Vice President for Partnership Development,



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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