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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

June 13, 2019

The Scoop

Debra Levin

Innovative, Holistic Design

It's hard to believe that we are nearly halfway through the year!  And it's already been quite a year for me as I have recently returned from Spain and just before that, Russia. Although both were work trips, I did take the time to take tours and visit all the sites I could from churches to museums, factories, town squares and restaurants. It was amazing to learn the history and culture of each place I was in and of course, enjoy the architecture that reflected both. Many of the sites I visited have withstood the ravages of war and time, and it made me wonder what we can design today that will also stand the test of time. I'm encouraged because I am beginning to see a new inclusive approach that is gaining traction with architects, designers and manufacturers enabling them to move beyond conventional design services and focus on high-value solutions that support best practices, foster collaboration, promote outstanding patient experiences and anticipate future flexibility. Called process-driven design, it provides a holistic, innovative way to design by integrating processes with data into an environment that is inviting, flexible and healing.

There are several ways to approach process-driven design including Lean, Human Factors/Ergonomics, and Experience Design. The great news is, an evidence-based design (EBD) process supports any or all of these approaches, and in fact, an EBD process can be created where these three approaches meet, leveraging the benefits of each. I invite you to check out several new process-driven design resources on The Center's website that include project briefs and interviews with industry experts. Be sure to check back often, as we plan to add more issue briefs on this topic in the next few months.

Were you unable to attend our recent Behavioral Health Workshop in Los Angeles — Strategic Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line? Or did you attend the workshop and want to share some of the key takeaways with your colleagues? We've got a great opportunity to do that virtually. For anyone who wants to learn more about innovative and effective design strategies that support behavioral health populations, we have developed a Behavioral Health Strategic Design Webinar day (June 27) that features three of the workshop speakers and their presentations in two different webinars. 

To see a complete list of upcoming events, click here. The resources and tools we provide are meant to be shared - make sure to pass them along to your team and as always, let me know what tools and resources have been helpful to you in the past, 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 end soon. 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:




Preventing Injuries and Increasing Safety Among Older Adults

Environmental factors play an important role in causing and preventing falls. Designers should pay special attention to providing safe, easy access in residential care spaces (e.g., good quality lighting, handrails on stairs, grab bars in the bathroom, easy-to-reach cabinets, eliminating slip and trip hazards).

Read more here.

We invite you

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

Two Weeks Left to Submit to the Call for Presentations 

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. 

Injury in Behavioral & Mental Health Settings: A Safety Risk Assessment Roadmap

This tool provides a crosswalk of design categories in the built environment (e.g., unit layout) and safety issues to consider in behavioral and mental health settings (e.g., blind spots). It is meant to serve as a high-level roadmap for design considerations in conjunction with the online Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) toolkit. 

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. 



Industry News Briefs

4 Ways Healthcare Facilities Improve Patient Well-Being

In the late 1800s, Florence Nightingale wrote her thoughts on the design of hospitals, citing the importance of access to daylight, windows with views, and natural ventilation. Over a century later, the principles she laid out are backed by recent research that measures improved health outcomes when the outdoors are welcomed in. These old roots are springing forth in modern versions of healing architecture and interior environments, reinvigorated by evidence-based practices and building science that demonstrate the importance of a connection to nature in healing.

Evidence-based design loosely addresses broader issues that impact staff health and well-being, including daylight, contact with nature, and acoustics. In addition, newer health-focused green building rating systems such as LEED, WELL, Fitwel, and the Living Building Challenge help to translate the wellness goals pioneered by Nightingale into focused design strategies.
facilitiesnet, more. . .

Children's Hospital Using Input, Mock Rooms to Design Mental-Health Facility

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is using a “mock-up” space in the basement of an outpatient center to to design mental-health facility, with designers, architects and engineers engaging in trial and error, proposing walls, furniture, fixtures and even paint colors, according to an article on the Dispatch website.

The space contains a handful of rooms built to mimic the nine-story Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion.

Input on the mock-up rooms has been given by more than 100 people, including healthcare providers, other hospital staff and parents of children with mental-health diagnoses. 
The Columbus Dispatch, more...

Healthcare Facilities Changing How They Fight Superbugs

In January, Columbia University revealed that four patients at its Irving Medical Center in New York had been sick with an unusual version of E. coli , a common gut bacterium. Although the news largely escaped attention in the media, it ricocheted through the world of infectious disease experts. E. coli is a relatively common bacterium and benign when it's in the gut, where it usually lives, but in the wrong places—such as in lettuce or ground beef, or our bloodstream—it can turn deadly. When antibiotics prove ineffective against an E. coli infection, as many as half the patients with it die within two weeks.

That's exactly why the Columbia E. coli was so worrying. Over the past decade or two, E. coli has developed resistance to one antibiotic after another. For some infected patients, their last hope is the antibiotic colistin, a toxic substance with potential side effects that include kidney and brain damage. The Columbia E. coli had a mutation in a gene, MCR-1, that confers a terrifying attribute: imperviousness to colistin.
Newsweek, more...


Enhancing Operational Efficiency, Staff Satisfaction and Patient Care with False Alarm Reduction

Healthcare facilities – whether a hospital, urgent care center or walk-in clinic – have a universal mission: to provide patients with exceptional care in an environment where they can optimally heal. This mission is easily deterred when safety and security systems aren’t performing at an efficient rate, specifically with alarm systems.

As Internet of Things (IoT) devices become more prevalent and facilities are increasing the amount of data they process daily, traditional alarm systems are overwhelmed and struggle to give customers actionable information. In fact, it is estimated that over 90 percent of notifications are false alarms. Not only are these alarms wasting staff and emergency responders time, they can distract healthcare professionals and impact patient recovery.
Healthcare Facilities Today, more . . .


What Does the Future of Healthcare Facility Design Look Like?

While this might not be the question on everybody’s lips, this is still an extremely important question that you should be asking yourself, especially if you work in healthcare, emergency departments or regularly use healthcare services.

This is because changes to the design of a facility can be implemented for a number of reasons, ranging from new equipment, new services or perhaps even downgrading certain departments. 
Healthcare Facility Today, more . . . 

Submissions for PDC Summit Due June 30

Join the roster of prestigious presenters and share your expertise at the 2020 PDC Summit. The call for session abstracts is now open and will close at 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday, June 30, 2019. 
Programming Concept: The future is now
Please note that all abstracts must be submitted online.
2020 PDC, more . . .


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? 
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