February 21, 2019
Rising to the Challenge
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.
An estimated 50% of all Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness or behavioral health disorder at some point in their lifetime. Mental illnesses, such as depression, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the United States for those aged 18-44 years old. Behavioral and mental health (BMH) conditions are even more common among patients receiving care for medical conditions. Up to 45% of patients admitted to the hospital for a medical condition or presenting to the emergency department with a minor injury also have a concurrent BMH condition. These BMH comorbidities increase the risk of psychological harm associated with care. Providing these patients with a healing, therapeutic environment should be an important goal for health design.
Design interventions aimed at improving the psychological well-being of patients with BMH comorbidities may be more cost-effective than they initially appear, because they can be leveraged to support improved well-being for other populations as well, including other patients, staff, and visitors.
To address these challenges and provide the latest thinking around design solutions, The Center is once again offering a Behavioral Health - Strategic Facility Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line Workshop, May 15, 2018 in Los Angeles. This one day interactive, collaborative, problem-solving workshop is ideal for individuals who are intending to design new mental and behavioral health facilities and those wishing to evaluate the quality of their existing facilities (see more workshop information in the column to the right). I hope you can join us and engage with a faculty of experts in behavioral health and design to set the stage for the path forward.
This Behavioral Health Strategic Design workshop will also be held in Baltimore in September. More details on this and two other autumn workshops covering Design for the Aging Mind and Pediatric Design Strategies will be coming soon.
Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO
Industry News Briefs
Three Ways Waiting Room Design Can Transform the Patient Experience
The waiting room is one of the most important spaces in a healthcare facility. Unfortunately, it’s where patients and family members tend to spend the most time – and many say that time spent waiting is the worst part of going to the doctor. Recent research directly links long wait times with negative HCAHPS scores, meaning that a poor waiting experience can negatively impact reimbursements.
Facility professionals today can focus on some key areas to improve the waiting room for patients and their families, and in turn help transform the overall patient experience.
Health Facilities Today, more. . .
Designing for Introverts and Extroverts
Private spaces energize introverts and social spaces energize extroverts. If the population is divided equally between introverts and extroverts, then what are we doing in hospitals to address the needs of both populations? That topic is explored in a blog series, first looking at provisions for hospital staff.
Typically, the nurses' station is designed with a tightly lined-up open work area equipped with armless chairs, possibly a rolling pedestal for each staff member, and a computer. Physicians, however, may have a semi-enclosed bank of workstations or cubbies off the main nurses' station with basically the same accommodations. In addition, if collaboration is required with other physicians or with a nurse, a perching station and/or conference table are often provided but also out in the open.
Healthcare Design, more . . .
All About the Flow: Improvements for Surgical Center Sterile Processing
Not one of us undergoes a surgical procedure with the hope of walking out the door with an infection along with the medical bill. Unfortunately, incidents of infections from healthcare facilities do occur, and opportunities for increased incidence are growing with the surge of ambulatory surgical centers, or ASCs, throughout the United States.
Oftentimes, ASCs are multidisciplinary, focusing on higher efficiency of care through flexible use of space and resources. As growth continues to rise, situations like Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome, which spiked within the last decade, may occur more often as the complexity and breadth of surgical services offered is on the increase. However, significant measures to reduce risks, lower costs and improve quality of care can be realized with the adoption of “process-driven” design and planning, regardless of a project’s size and budget.
Medical Construction & Design, more. . .
New San Francisco Hospital to Use a Seismic Wall Technology
The new California Pacific Medical Center Van Ness Campus hospital is scheduled to open in March, and when it does, it will be the first building in North America to use a seismic wall technology that will help the building better ride out earthquakes.
Sutter Health's 11-story CPMC will have 119 viscous wall dampers, a technology designed to absorb strong movement and reduce overall stress on the building. The technology uses a steel box filled with a viscous polymer that allows a vertical steel plate connected to the floor girder above to move freely and allow the fluid to absorb the energy during an earthquake. It has been used in earthquake-prone Japan during the past 25 years before its first implementation in the U.S. on this project.
BISNOW, more . . .
Going Beyond the Punchlist: Why Architects Should Embrace Post-Occupancy Evaluations
While costly, a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) can reveal a wealth of information. Furthermore, new technologies are helping architects track building performance like never before.
On the eve of a massive building campaign for which universities planned to invest billions in new student housing, two architects undertook an unprecedented study of what students needed and wanted. Talking to residents and observing their habits in detail, they found that the typical new dormitory design was woefully inadequate. Public space was underutilized, personal space was inflexible, and housing was isolated from other functions on campus. Dorms were cold and impersonal—“as homey as a Greyhound bus depot,” according to one student—and surveys revealed that many inhabitants felt “stifled” and even “enraged.” Proposing an alternative, mixed-use approach that offered greater variety and more flexibility, the architects found that universities could significantly improve the student experience at two-thirds the cost.
That was 50 years ago. Sim Van der Ryn and Murray Silverstein’s groundbreaking research, published in 1967 as Dorms at Berkeley: An Environmental Analysis, was possibly the first formal example of what came to be called post-occupancy evaluation (POE), the process of assessing buildings after the fact. “There is no feedback channel between planning assumptions and building use,” they declared. “Our focus is on the silent partner in the design process—the user affected by design decisions.”
Metropolis, more. . .
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