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

October 4, 2018

The Scoop

The Duality of Architecture: Protection and Connection

From the very start of humans interacting with nature, protection from the natural world was a motivating factor for the creation and development of architecture. Eventually, this protection was accomplished with the creation of walls and roofs. The walls of pre-modern structures were almost always load-bearing, requiring a certain thickness that provided both protection and insulation from fluctuations in temperature outside.

While protection from the outside world is essential, there is also a strong need to connect with nature. Even ancient structures contained small windows and light-filled courtyards allowing the benefits of nature to be a part of the dwellings while keeping the elements out.

Buildings will always need to protect inhabitants from rain, wind and whatever else Mother Nature brings along. But, today, we also want to harness the health benefits of nature incorporating it into a building's design whenever possible. Healthcare spaces have come a long way - natural light now floods many spaces from patient rooms to hallways. And artwork depicting peaceful and serene nature scenes fill spaces that were once barren walls. We've also learned how to harness Mother Nature's power with solar power and solar/thermal storage systems to help with energy needs, while at the same time, reducing the carbon footprint.  (See Barry Rabner's interview on this subject in Free Tools and Resources in this newsletter.)

By studying the history of architecture, we learn about civilizations, customs, beliefs and techniques. Today, we continue to learn what works and what doesn't work through a variety of ways, books, published research studies, webinars, podcasts, case studies, tools, educational conferences and more. The Center has all the latest healthcare design research, tools and educational opportunities  available to you 24/7.  From in-person and online events to tools and research advisory services, we can  provide you with timely healthcare industry research advice along with project management support that will help inspire and propel your thinking and healthcare facilities projects. 

There are several upcoming opportunities to learn about new design strategies, meet industry experts and get inspired.

In the Insights and Solutions section of our website, we offer the resources and tools that will provide you with knowledge that's actionable, knowledge you can quickly incorporate into your projects, along with the latest industry news to see what others are doing. Here are just a few of the open resources you can find there:

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. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs

Designing Tomorrow's Operating Room

Surgery is at the forefront of modern medicine in many respects with advances in computer assisted technology and robotics already evident in operating rooms around the world. Image-guided procedures – sometimes called keyhole surgery – mean that fiber optics and video screens are already standard equipment for many surgical teams.

Using specialized tools and instruments for visualzation and control, surgeons can operate through keyhole-sized incisions, with machine intelligence and robotics aiding the human/machine interaction for delicate medical endeavours such as cardiac surgery.

Operating rooms – also known as operating theatres – are changing quickly, but the pace of technological change is outstripping the rate at which we can make alterations to our existing medical facilities.
WSP, more. . .


NY Clinic Informed by Hospitality Design to Create 'Human' Feeling

The far eastern reaches of Manhattan’s Upper East Side form a Tetris grid of health-care facilities, with emergency-room signs and clinic entrances marking the lines of boxy metal-and- glass facades.

But on York Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets, a different kind of health-care building has taken shape. From the street, the facade of the David H. Koch Center—the NewYork-Presbyterian ambulatory care facility, which saw its first patients at the end of April—glimmers with ribbons of fritted white glass. Inside, the lobby’s ceilings stretch over 40 feet tall. Curiously, there’s not a wheelchair in sight.
Metropolis, more . . .


ED Designed to Optimize Patient Flow

The new 67,000-square-foot emergency department (ED) at Cleveland Clinic Akron General is more than three times the size of the original facility, and with 60 patient care spaces the hospital made it a priority to ensure the space could get up with patient demand. 

The design's universal patient room layout helps to optimize flow by maximizing operational performance, which in turn helps to minimize wait times. By providing uniform patient care spaces, caregivers are able to become highly familiar with equipment and supply placement, creating efficiencies during exams and procedures. .
Health Facilities Management, more . . . 







Countdown to
HCD Expo & Conference

It's already time to start planning how you will spend your time at HCD Expo & Conference.  To help you, we've highlighted some exclusive sessions by top industry experts that you may want to include in your experience. 


W01 - Coaching Workshop, Practical Application of Evidence-Based Design​
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

W07 - EDAC Examination Preparation Workshop
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


D01: Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) Toolkit User Experiences:
What Can We Learn from Version 2.0?

9:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

D02: Recognizing Exemplary Achievements in Evidence-Based Design
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.


K03: The Center for Health Design Awards and Changemaker Keynote Presentation
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

E42: Research Matters: 10 Picks for the Year
9:45 a.m. -10:45 a.m.

A18: EDAC Exam #1
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

A20: Built Environment Network Educational Session - The Owners Perspective: Key Insights Impacting Design
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


E52: The Science of Healthcare Design: A Review of Studies Published in HERD Journal
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 pm

A23: EDAC Exam #2
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.





Using Solar/Thermal Storage

Barry is the President and CEO of the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), a not-for-profit organization that includes University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) and entities which provide behavioral health, rehabilitation and home care services.  In this interview, Barry reviews the energy cost savings and the amount of carbon footprint reduction the University Medical Center of Princeton is now achieving with solar/thermal storage.

Enjoy this free resource here.


We invite you

to a webinar 

Intermountain Healthcare: Planting the Seeds for Change Using Lean Principles 

When: October 11, 2018

Time: 11:00am Pacific

Price:  $65 Individual View/$150 Group View

Duration: 60 minutes

In this webinar, presenters Barbara Anderson, Principal and Senior Medical Planner, Quality and Tim Hatch, MHA, Director of Strategic Planning, Intermountain Healthcare will explore how quality healthcare is not explicitly synonymous with efficiency. Intermountain Healthcare, determined to deliver both, used its knowledge and application of Lean principles to plant the seeds of change taking the system to a new level. Park City Medical Center and the Cottonwood Clinic will be presented as case studies and described in terms of process, planning, and tools used to affect change. Quantifiable, initial outcomes, including how design solutions have impacted change across an entire health system, will be discussed.


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. 

Population Health: A Checklist for an Integrated Approach
This tool provides healthcare designers and professionals with population health principles/goals and how environmental, operational, and people measures can be implemented to achieve said goal.

Webinar: The Medical Behavioral Unit: Enhancing Patient Safety and Experience Through Design

With no known precedent, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pursued a vision to develop a new pediatric patient care unit: one that would meet the requirements and licensure of an acute care unit, but would provide a safe and supportive environment for patients with a comorbid developmental, behavioral, or psychiatric diagnosis. A multidisciplinary team worked together to envision, plan, and design an environment to support a new model of care for this unique population. 





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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