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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 17, 2018

The Scoop

Design's Healing Power

In this digital age, filled with apps on our phones, tablets and computers, we have access, at our fingertips, to more information than ever before. Sometimes, these feel like amazing powerful tools and other times, it feels like there is too much information bombarding us through these devices - the powerful tool is both addicting and distracting.  

Adding to this information overload stress, is the fact that most of us deal with very tight project timelines with little time to discover and bring the latest research and tools to the table as a member of various teams and projects. Knowing where to find essential resources quickly and easily is key. The Center wants to provide you with everything you need when you need it, helping to make your life a little easier. Research that's accessible, tools that are intuitive and practical, and resources that increase your knowledge base. One of the deepest and most used resources on our site is the Knowledge Repository - a one-stop, user-friendly, FREE library of healthcare design resources with nearly 4,000 citations related to healthcare design. Over 500 new citations have been added over the last year.  

To keep you up-to-date with the most recent additions added in March and April, our research team has created the latest
Research in a Snap, a downloadable PDF listing these citations that cover topics such as

  • Dementia
  • Aging/Elders
  • Behavioral Health
  • Operating Room Design
  • Infection Prevention
  • Acoustics/Noise
  • Design Process

I'll bet many of you have recently completed a project that used an evidence-based design process. If so, I encourage you to submit an application to the Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards. Applications for this round are due on June 15, 2018 and we are providing an information session to answer any questions you may have regarding the program and submission criteria on June 8.  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

Designing for Staff Efficiency

The way a hospital is designed can improve staff efficiency in many ways, such as minimizing steps required, and reducing fatigue and stress. Certain design components, such as standardized rooms and floor plans, can result in greater efficiency.

Standardized room design provides a consistent manner in which to deliver care. The orientation of staff to the patient and to other elements in the room, such as the hand-washing sink and supplies, are the same from room to room. “This approach reduces time spent searching for supplies and equipment,” says Jocelyn Stroupe, CHID, EDAC, IIDA, ASID, principal and director of health interiors, CannonDesign, Chicago. “Staff are familiar with the room’s organization and can focus more time on caring for the patient.”  Healthcare Facilities Today,  more. . . 


Two Reasons Why Ambulatory Care Facilities Struggle with Infection Control Standards

Three of the 10 most problematic standards for accredited ambulatory care organizations and office-based surgery practices were related to infection and prevention control activities, according to an article on the Becker's ASC Review website.

According to Sylvia Garcia-Houchins, The Joint Commission's infection control director, two reasons why organizations struggle to comply with these standards are the increasing use of robotics and discarding manufacturer's guidelines. 

Garcia-Houchins recommends educating staff on best practices for infection control and providing online access to the manufacturer's guidelines.
Becker's ASC Review
, more . . .

Healthcare Facility Adds Calming Live Music to Common Areas

Music is a universal language. It can inspire, nurture and calm the soul beyond words. And at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, music is a soothing balm for patients, family and staff who flow throughout the facility daily, thanks to the Center Stage Arts in Health program. Lobbies, waiting rooms and common areas become comforting oases from the waves of stress, anxiety and drama found in any hospital environment.

The founders of Penn State College of Medicine blazed the trail for Center Stage by launching a humanities department in 1967. Like the College of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine — also celebrating its 50th anniversary — the Department of Humanities was the first of its kind at any medical college in the U.S. As with anything new and different, people at the time questioned why a college of medicine needed a department associated with liberal arts education.
Penn State News, more . . 


Submit Innovative Architectural and Interior Design Solutions to the Healthcare Environment Awards 2018

Submission Deadline is July 13, 2018

The Healthcare Environment Awards honor healthcare interior architecture and design across a range of project types. Co-sponsored by Contract magazine and The Center for Health Design, in cooperation with the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, the Healthcare Environment Awards are published in the November issue of Contract magazine. 
More information here


2018 CODAawards -
Recognizing Design + Art - Deadline May 31

The CODAawards celebrate the design projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. Winners in healthcare and 9 other categories are featured in exhibition, print, & international media.
Enter by May 31




Discover How to Employ an Integrated Approach at the 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.



Webinar- Designing for Adolescents in Mental Health Crisis: A Story of Research, Innovation, and Hope

Adolescence can be a tumultuous time in one’s life. Mental health conditions often surface during this stage, and it may be the first time that some patients enter an inpatient behavioral health unit. How can design best support this patient population that is transitioning from childhood to adulthood? Learn how a design team utilized research, Lean processes, and innovation to solve the challenges of this unique patient population for the 27-bed Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit in Tacoma, Washington. Find out how design can support a seclusion- and restraint-free care model and how pushing beyond the conventions of behavioral healthcare design was achieved.

Read more here


We invite you


to Submit Your Presentation for the 2019 Environments for Aging Conference

Call for Presentations Deadline is June 29, 2018, 5:00 P.M. PDT

The Environments for Aging Expo & Conference is an annual event that brings together developers, owners, design professionals, product manufacturers, academia, aging specialists, and government officials to explore new ideas for creating places that support people as they age. Developed by professionals who are day-to-day advocates and champions for improving healthcare and life experiences for the aging population, this comprehensive conference provides attendees with access to state-of-the-art information from thought leaders and innovators within the field of aging.

To submit a presentation proposal, click here 


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. 

Exploring Emergency Department Trends and Best Practices to Improve Throughput, an interview with James Augustine, MD, FACEP

This interview presents how the aging of the population contributes to overcrowding in EDs today, why some hospitals are creating ED areas specifically for seniors, with enhanced lighting, non-slip flooring, and other safety features, the need for Clinical Decision Units to provide a place for emergency patients who require a longer stay in order to free up space in the ED, and the challenges that behavioral health and chemical dependency patients pose to EDs, and how best to address these issues.
Click here to read the interview.


Project Brief: Innovative Design Consolidates Diverse Behavioral Health Programs into One Comprehensive Center

Learn about how a county directive to relocate different behavioral health programs into one location led to a unique design for serving low to high-risk populations in an integrated facility, and how collaboration among the architect, interior designer, landscape architect, owner, staff, and clients played an integral role in shaping the programming and design. 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

Looking to hire or find a new position?  Visit our job postings board.

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