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Behavioral Health Strategic Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line
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The Center for Health Design
The Center for Health Design - Currents Newsletter

July 12, 2018

The Scoop

Lazy Days of Summer . . . for Some

The lazy days of summer are upon us but, here at The Center, we are in a fast-paced, planning-mode for not only the remainder of our summer events, but also all the upcoming fall events. There's quite a lot to look forward to from the July and August webinars and EBD Journal Club, to the summer and fall workshops including:

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 ensure 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


Va. Hospital Redesigned Behavioral Health Center Using Patient Input

Designing a mental health facility for children poses its own challenges compared to designing one for adult patients.

Children process trauma differently. They have different needs than adults. So when Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University decided to undertake a redesign of its behavioral health center—boosting its inpatient bed count from 24 to 32 beds—officials knew it was crucial to incorporate the patient voice throughout the design.

From the earliest planning stages to final details like wall colors and furniture, patients and families were brought in to help, said Alexandria Lewis, director of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC).

"Many of them have themselves been traumatized by certain experiences," Lewis said. "One of the things that we wanted to convey to them that this was a welcoming space where they could feel comfortable expressing their feelings and engaging in the healing process."  FierceHealthcare, more . . . 


The Changing of an Ideology in Healthcare

Beebe Healthcare is dropping plans to add more beds to its Lewes campus after officials realized fewer people are being admitted to the hospital than in previous years.

Officials don't believe this is a sign of a struggling business, but rather the changing of an ideology in the healthcare industry:

The goal now is to keep people as healthy as possible, not just treat sick people.

"When you look at how hospitals have been paid historically, basically patients were sick and they needed some kind of procedure," said Beebe CEO Jeffrey Fried. "We never got paid to keep people healthy and out of the hospital.

Beebe's decision follows a national trend among hospital systems, several of which have downsized or focused more outpatient care due to a decrease in inpatient stays. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported in June 2017 that the number of inpatient stays for all hospitalization types decreased by 6.6 percent from 2005 to 2014. 

"Growing efforts to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, greater use of chronic disease management programs, and a shift toward outpatient treatment may result in a decrease in hospital stays," the report said.  delaware onlinemore . . .


Murals Provide Positive Distractions for Young Patients

ZGF Architects (Washington and Portland, Ore.) was hired by Heery Design (Atlanta) to provide interior design services for the new 507,000-square-foot University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, as well as the renovation of an existing NICU connected to the new building. A quilt theme was created for the interiors to represent the hospital’s belief that individual pieces can come together to create a greater whole.

Designers chose four Iowa landscapes— farmlands, woodlands, wetlands, and prairie—to evoke a sense of place for the graphics and wayfinding program. Each of the 14 floors is represented by a quilt block icon of a region with a specific color palette for each, including red, orange, and yellow for the farmlands; green representing the woodlands; blue for the wetlands; and the color purple for the prairie.

Graphics and wayfinding are integrated into the main corridors, procedural rooms, patient room entries, stairwells, and areas surrounding elevators and nurses' stations on the patient floors. Scenes comprise patterns inspired by the nature within each habitat and can be found in floor icons, fiber-reinforced laminate panel murals, and door graphics, which are concentrated in the lower and upper portions of the doors to give caregivers clear lines of sight into the room while giving patients a sense of privacy. Healthcare Design, more . . .

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

Winners will be announced at The Center for Health Design’s awards keynote presentation on Monday, November 12, 2018, during the 2018 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Phoenix and will also be featured in the November 2018 issue of Contract.
Submission Deadline is Tomorrow, 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 recognize innovative, life-enhancing interior design that contributes to the quality of healthcare.  More information here







Consider the needs of behavioral health patients in every healthcare space you design - register today and get the early bird rate!

Behavioral Health -  Strategic Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line

Date:  September 27, 2018
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor

300 Light Street
Baltimore, MD

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. 

Back by popular demand, this one day interactive workshop is intended to enable design professionals to employ physical design strategies and methodologies that support improved care for behavioral health. Join us and engage with a faculty of experts in behavioral health and design to set the stage for the path forward. 

Register early - workshop sold out last year!

More workshop information here.

Sponsored by:




Full Circle Systems Engineering Innovative Design & Simulation Tools

Solving a Healthcare Challenge

Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA is an industry leader in transforming the delivery of healthcare. Much of their success can be attributed to their implementation of the principles of the Toyota Production System. This drive for innovation enabled a Virginia Mason physician leader to envision an improved laboratory workflow with a new tool to organize tissue sample processing. Read more here.


We invite you

to an upcoming webinar on July 19: 

Design for One is Design for All: The Past, Present and Future of Universal Design for Aging

Specialized designs and technologies, often mandated by the ADA Accessibility Standards, are inadequate to meet the needs and abilities of older adults.  In contrast, universal design is an appropriate, but underused strategy for design for aging. On the one hand, universal design is seen as merely another name for specialized designed, while on the other hand, it has been dismissed as an unattainable utopian panacea. This webinar will trace the history of universal design, from its beginnings as a utopian concept in the world of physical objects and spaces, to the struggle for attainment through the often times contradictory principles, to a practical reconceptualization in the world of emerging and evolving digital technologies.

Join us to hear what universal design is and what it is not; why it’s potential to be a panacea for design for aging is unattainable in the physical world from which it emerged, and how it is poised to become a reality and fulfill its promise through the world of digital technologies.

More information and registration 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. 


Member Projects

The Center's Affiliate Member community is a vital part of our mission to transform healthcare environments in a quickly changing world to become healthier and safer. Come see the projects Affiliate members are working on, including the project's mission, vision and lessons learned. 

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.

Donate  •  Become a Pebble Partner  •  Join our Community of Affiliates  •  
Ask Us About Volunteer Opportunities  •  Job Board  •  Contact Us

© 2018 The Center for Health Design






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Concord, CA 94520
United States

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