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

August 23, 2018

The Scoop

Second Chances

I have often heard the phrase, "there are no do overs, but there are second chances."  Which is true for many things including events that are now in the past. While we may not be able to replicate the full event - we can provide some of the key educational content from that event. Take for instance, the Design for Patient and Staff Safety Workshop that was held in Chicago in June. Many of you were not able to attend and many workshop attendees want to provide their colleagues who couldn't attend with some of the key learnings. For those who could not make it to the workshop and for those who want to learn more about a systems-based approach to patient and staff safety, we are offering the Safety Webinar Day featuring three of the workshop speakers. You can attend each webinar separately or you can purchase a day pass and attend all three, one-hour sessions either as an individual or as a group.

We are starting the day at 9:30 am PDT / 12:30 pm EDT with Jonas Shultz, MSc, EDAC, Human Factors Specialist, Health Quality Council of Alberta presenting "Medication Safety Considerations from a Systems Perspective". This webinar explains how to use a systems approach to enhance medication safety using Human Factors strategies. Specifically, it highlights various considerations, evaluation strategies, and previously completed projects which aim to optimize tasks being performed, information and equipment used, and the design of environments for individuals involved in the medication use process.

Next at 11:00 am PDT / 2:00 pm EDT is Tamara James, MA, CPE, CSPHP, Ergonomics Division Director at Duke University and Health System presenting "Patient and Staff Safety: Where Does One Begin and the Other One End for Patient Handling?" Tamara will discuss a systems perspective on patient handling as it relates to patient and staff safety, including organizational strategy, policies/procedures, models of care, staff “behavior”/buy-in, and the design of the environment. 

And wrapping up the day at 12:30 pm PDT / 3:30 pm EDT - Alyssa Rotman, Healthcare Designer, NBBJ will present "The Reduction of Healthcare-Associated Infections through the Built Environment: The Infection Prevention Prototype Patient Room". Alyssa will present  outcomes from a built prototype inpatient room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, designed expressly for infection prevention. She'll review which strategies, materials, and technologies were deployed and learn the process for their selection, including the input from infection prevention officers. 

More information about Safety Webinar Day here.

Speaking of education and community, make sure you get the following events on your calendar including:

As always, let me know what tools and resources are helpful to you, and we'll feature them in our future newsletters.

Be well,

Debra Levin, Hon Fellow, ASID, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs

UV Systems Part of Disinfection Arsenal for Healthcare

As science and medicine continue to progress, people are living longer, healthier lives. Despite gains in medical knowledge and know-how, infectious diseases of various sorts still plague and even kill many people each year. Hospitals and other medical facilities, where nearly any environmental surface is susceptible to contamination with healthcare-associated pathogens, are in a constant battle to be rid of infections and to prevent the spread of them. Despite their best efforts, this is a great challenge for medical facilities

As studies suggest cleaning and disinfection is often suboptimal with healthcare workers treating only about 30 to 50 percent of the surfaces that they should be. Some of the methods hospitals are turning to in the fight against bacteria include ultra-violet (UV) systems, improved cleaning products, and basic hygiene. 
Healthcare Facilities Today, more . . .


Laying the Groundwork

The Knowledge Repository is one of the most frequently visited tools on The Center’s website. This comprehensive and searchable database houses almost 4,000 citations that connect the built environment to outcomes in healthcare and related spaces; nearly 700 of those references have been translated by our research team into key point summaries. It’s supported through a partnership with American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, and the Facility Guidelines Institute.

An “additional resources” link on the Knowledge Repository landing page allows users to access two tools that industry professionals will also find helpful in their work: conceptual models and our Evidence-Based Design (EBD) Glossary. Both were created by our internal research team and a group of volunteers from The Center’s Research Coalition, including Eileen Malone, senior partner at Mercury Healthcare Consulting LLC, and Debajyoti Pati, executive director of the Center for Advanced Design Research & Evaluation.
Healthcare Design, more. . .


Amazon to Open Care Clinics for Employees in Seattle

In another sign that Amazon is ramping up its entry into healthcare, the e-commerce giant is dipping its toes into primary care with a new offering for its Seattle-based employees.

Amazon is in internal discussions to open primary care clinics at its main office, CNBC reported. The company plans to hire a small number of doctors for a pilot clinic later this year for a select group of employees. The pilot will expand in early 2019.

The move is another example of how large companies are working to lower healthcare costs for employees by incentivizing lower-cost and preventive care settings. Apple, based in California, also has plans to open a wellness clinic, AC Wellness, for its Bay Area employees in 2019.
Health Execmore . . .


Redefining Imaging Spaces

Although Shakespeare’s line “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” posits that the name given a thing doesn’t change what it is; a corollary is that names do matter as they become the representation of a thing in the describing and retelling.

At the heart of the new classification system for imaging services in the 2018 edition of the Facility Guidelines Institute’s (FGI’s) Guidelines for Design and Construction for hospital and outpatient facilities is an appreciation for the power of a name.
Health Facilities Management, more . . . 


The AIA Academy of Architecture for Health’s Case Study Library

Architects, designers and planners usually conduct literature reviews, site and facilities tours, and occasionally put together informal “case studies” for their clients and teams to review before beginning a new project. The AIA/AAH Research Initiatives Committee proposed a new and more formal format for these type of informal case studies with the idea that increased rigor will improve the quality of the case studies and eventually lead to more detailed POE studies by researchers.

In 2016, the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health began a pilot case study project utilizing the UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Cancer Center Project (one of the 2013 AIA/AAH Healthcare Design Award winning projects). This was followed up in the spring of 2017 with additional case studies utilizing six of the seven 2016 AIA/AAH Healthcare Design Award winners as the first phase of a case study formatting project with the goal of “bridging the gap” between research and practice by creating a Case Study Library located on the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health’s website. Since that time, another 14 case studies have been added with plans to add another 12 before the end of the year.  
AIA KnowledgeNet, more. .




How Does Design Impact Behavioral Health Outcomes

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 challenges created by today’s growing mental health and substance abuse crises reach far beyond the behavioral health unit into emergency departments, outpatient clinics and throughout acute care settings.

To support improved care and enhance staff safety, today’s design, facility and care professionals have to advance their understanding of design’s impact on behavioral health care and learn how to incorporate the best and latest design solutions throughout the healthcare setting.

Real World Experiences.
Future-looking Insights.

Hear the industry's leading behavioral health facility design experts share how design is making a difference in the lives of children and adults faced with behavioral and mental health conditions. They’ll share real world experiences and future-looking insights into:

  • The implications of your design decisions
  • Innovative and effective design strategies that support behavioral health populations
  • Case studies of state-of-the-art facilities
  • Existing standards and behavioral health models

More workshop information here.

Sponsored by:




Reimagined Ambulatory Care Delivery, an Interview with John Kouletsis, AIA, EDAC

John Kouletsis, a prominent healthcare planning and design expert, was, prior to his retirement, the Vice President, Planning and Design, National Facilities Services at Kaiser Permanente.  For 24 years John served as Kaiser Permanente’s “chief architect” and managed a staff of 30 healthcare planners, designers, operations experts, and clinicians.  John was responsible for assuring that all Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical offices across the country were built and maintained with a consistent level of quality, innovation and affordability.  In collaboration with hundreds of frontline health care professionals, planners, architects, and others, John created guidelines that established Kaiser Permanente as one of the earliest and foremost proponents of both evidence-based design and safety-by-design.

Listen here to John talk about the driving forces that prompted Kaiser Permanente to reimagine ambulatory care.


We invite you

to attend one of the Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award Information Sessions: 

Do you have a project that is worthy of an Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award?  What exactly is the Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award? What is the criteria for the award?  Who should apply and what is the process like? 

These and other questions will be answered in the upcoming interactive Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Award Information Sessions.  Simply click on one of the sessions listed below to register.


Duration: 45 minutes

Price: FREE

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.

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