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Pebble in Practice Workshops - Strategies, Solutions And Resources To Help You Answer Today's Healthcare Design Challenges
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The Center for Health Design
The Center for Health Design - Currents Newsletter

May 30, 2019

The Scoop

Debra Levin

Accessible Resources 24/7

We all have incredibly long "to-do lists" these days, which means our time is a precious commodity.  And yet, as a member or leader of various teams and projects, it is crucial to bring the latest research and tools to the table. Knowing where to find these resources quickly and easily is the 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. A new resource on The Center's website is a white paper "Healthcare at Home".  This white paper, created to support the Interactive Design Diagrams tool, looks at the recent radical shift in the provision of healthcare. Just within the past decade, advances in medical technology, changes in reimbursement structures, the desires and complex care needs of an aging population, and innovative care delivery models have initiated a shift from providing care in hospitals to outpatient settings. But, we are also beginning to see a push from the traditional inpatient and outpatient settings towards acute and subacute care in the home. While this is an emerging field, there are evidence-based design strategies that contribute to physical and psychosocial needs of both patients and care providers. This white paper explores why owners, architects, and designers in the healthcare, long-term care, and residential sectors may be the best qualified to undertake the challenge of design for Healthcare at Home.

Another favorite resource that is being constantly updated with new material is the Knowledge Repository, a free library of healthcare design resources with nearly 4,400 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 "Research in a Snap"  a downloadable PDF listing these citations that cover topics such as:

  • Patient Experience
  • Communication
  • Technology
  • Design & Evaluation
  • Safety
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Infection Prevention/Control
  • Patient Handling/Mobility
  • Care across the Lifespan - Pediatric, Maternity, Aging
  • Cognitive Impairment & Dementia

Let me know what tools and resources have been helpful to you and we'll feature them in our future newsletters.

Be well,

Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO



Three workshops, one week, one location. Early bird rates now available. Attend one, two or all three days!

TUESDAY, SEPT. 17, 2019

Building Blocks: New Design Strategies and Solutions for Pediatric Settings


Behavioral Health: Design Innovations that Improve Outcomes and Safety

THUR, SEPT 19, 2019

Design for the Aging Mind: Solutions for Every Setting

Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor
401 West Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Receive a discount off the daily and early bird rates when you register for two or all three workshops.
More information here. 

Sponsored by:




Reducing Injury and Harm in Behavioral & Mental Health Setting

Design to mitigate self-harm and harm against others for people with behavioral health symptoms range from large-scale decisions (e.g. site design) to more detailed decisions (e.g. door hinges). However, even small details can affect the layout, so it is helpful to be aware of all considerations in the early stages of the project. This design strategy PDF lists design solutions that are a brief summary of the content found in "Reducing Injury and Harm: An Issue Brief on Safety for Behavioral & Mental Health". They are organized by building design category.

Read more here.

We invite you

to Join Us in Louisville, KY for the 2020 EFA Expo & Conference

Call for Presentations Is Open

We are currently accepting presentation proposals for educational sessions. Submit presentation ideas for consideration around:

  • Considerations for effective aging environments
  • Innovative household / Housing models
  • Innovations in design and planning
  • Aging-in-place / Universal design
  • Solutions that enhance the human experience
  • Future-focused models
  • Trends toward independence and wellness
  • International perspectives
  • Public / Private partnerships
  • Impact of technology and product innovations
  • Innovative projects and community programs
  • Evidence-based design research studies / Reports
  • Green design and sustainability
  • Remodeling and repositioning of existing facilities
  • Continuum of care
  • Dementia and other cognitive challenges
  • Funding and financing considerations

The deadline for submissions is June 27, 2019, 5 p.m. PDT. 

To submit a presentation proposal, click here.  

Classic Resources

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. 

Does Space Matter? An Exploratory Study for a Child–Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit

This EBD Journal Club explores design elements and spaces as a contributing influence to behavior and well-being for patients, staff, and families in a child–adolescent mental health unit.

Exploring the Relationship Between the Built Environment and Behavioral Health

In this ineterview, Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, B.A. M.Arch, M.A., D.Arch., EDAC, describes the challenges in identifying best practices in the built environment for behavioral healthcare; where architects and designers can start when working on projects for behavioral health facilities; and the differences between behavioral health and medical settings.

Industry News Briefs

Designing for Staff

While efforts to improve the patient experience may be the
primary driver behind healthcare design projects today, staff satisfaction isn’t far behind. Healthcare worker recruitment and retention is a critical issue for any organization, as is physician and nurse burnout.

To answer those needs, new facilities boast environments
that offer opportunities for both staff respite and wellness in addition to modern workspaces that support collaboration and team-based care delivery.

Additional considerations are made for everything from
safety and security to efficiency and communication.
Healthcare Design, more. . .

Design Contest Helps Fill Research Void for Behavioral Facilities

Growing awareness of the importance of behavioral healthcare is renewing focus on the design of inpatient psychiatric facilities, with the goal to provide welcoming, relaxing, safe environments that put patients at ease and help them be receptive to their treatment. However, according to leading researchers in the field of health environment design, evidence on the subject isn’t sufficient to influence the design of such spaces.

The Institute for Patient-Centered Design (IPCD), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the built environment to better meet the needs of patients and their families, has been working to fill this void over the past several years. In 2015, IPCD held a design competition focusing on the behavioral healthcare inpatient bedroom and bathroom, for which three finalists presented their ideas using virtual reality during an educational session at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference. Conference attendees then voted on the top design, selecting HDR’s “One Haven” project as the winner.
Healthcare Design, 

Healthcare Facilities Balance Infection Control with Green Cleaning Efforts

According to the 2017 Leapfrog Group Hospital Survey, each day about one in 25 U.S. hospital patients contracts an HAI. These infections can significantly delay recovery, increase the cost of a hospital stay, and potentially result in death. The direct cost of HAIs to hospitals is estimated to be between $28 billion and $45 billion.

With that much at stake, healthcare facilities are tasked with sorting through a variety of products and devices on the market  that promise to safely clean and disinfect furniture, equipment and rooms. They also are looking at how to balance infection control with green – or sustainable – cleaning efforts.
Healthcare Facilities Today, more...


Child-Ready: Envisioning Pediatric Spaces of the Future

Healthcare design requires careful thought, consideration and attention to detail, especially when designing for a pediatric population. While routine pediatric care is typically community based in medical office, ambulatory, urgent care, emergency and even community acute care hospitals, specialized, complex care is routinely sought out at pediatric centers of excellence.

Dedicated children’s hospitals of the future must provide all levels of inpatient and outpatient care for children of all ages, backgrounds and conditions. The design of these institutions must not only respond to known, documented, Evidence-Based Design attributes, but the planning considerations and design of such institutions must be visionary in response to a rapidly changing future. The criteria to develop the design of inpatient pediatric units can be categorized as follows: people, technology and safety & infection control.
Medical Construction & Design, more . . .

Note: On September 17, The Center will hold "Building Blocks: New Design Strategies and Solutions for Pediatric Settings" workshop in Baltimore. Early bird rate now available, more information here.

Seventh Annual Internationally Acclaimed CODAawards Celebrate Commissioned Art Projects

The internationally acclaimed CODAawards, now in their seventh year, celebrate the design projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The awards, selected from projects around the world, honor the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day. Submit projects for consideration by tomorrow, May 31, 2019. 


The Center for Health Design would like to thank our
thought leadership partner:

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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