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MAY 2020

Living in a Virtual World

With many of us working from home, the way to stay connected with family, colleagues, friends, clients and the outside world is virtually through our computers, devices and phones. Staff meetings for us are now seeing everyone in their home offices in small squares on the computer screen. 

Many in-person business events have been reformatted to an online learning experience. That is exactly what we have done with our Behavioral Health Strategic Design workshop originally planned as an in-person event in Los Angeles. We have taken this one day workshop and created a virtual workshop series that is now 7.5 hours split over three days, and the first one starts today. To provide our industry with greater access, this workshop series is now being presented at no charge.

With the world facing COVID-19, the mental health toll on frontline responders, victims, families, the unemployed and all those working in healthcare facilities, the need for design solutions that enhance care and treatment and help relieve the suffering has never been greater. It's crucial that design, facility and care professionals work together to create design solutions that address the immediate and future needs for behavioral health care, outcomes, and patient and staff safety. We have a great line-up of top industry experts to share experiences, strategies and resources that will help you address today’s challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s.

I hope you can join us and that you and yours remain in good health.

Be well,

Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO


Built Environment Resources to Help Minimize the Impact of Infections through Design

The Center for Health Design’s has gathered resources from our own website, as well as from partner organizations, to help healthcare facilities address near-term needs related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to better inform plans and projects in development now and in the future.

While these resources were created to help minimize the impact of infections and transmittable diseases in healthcare facilities, much of the research and guidance is relevant and useful in any built environment.

These resources include:

  • The latest COVID-19-specific research and facility response guidance;
  • Our MakingRoom online database connecting hotels with hospitals in urgent need of additional space;
  • Our Infection Control Toolbox with evidence-based strategies, tools and best practices;
  • A link to the FEMA Claims Recovery Service and,
  • Select relevant research and articles from our Knowledge Repository. 

Access COVID-19 Resources here.




Free Tools & Resources

Design Strategies:
Environmental Surfaces and HAIs

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are one of the most challenging issues in healthcare. The selection of appropriate materials and finishes, along with an understanding of cleaning processes, is part of a systems approach to reducing HAIs.

These strategies, gathered through a review of the literature, should be considered throughout the material selection and specification stages.


Upcoming Events

Make Sure to Get These Events on Your Calendar

5/14, 21, 28, Free Behavioral Health Design Virtual Workshop Series

5/19, COVID-19 Webinar 3 Part Series, Voices Of the Industry, Webinar 1

6/18, Free Webinar: The Owners Perspective: Key Insights Impacting the Future of Healthcare Design & Construction

6/18, Webinar: The Rapid Evolution of FSEDs and Micro Hospitals, The New Model for Design

7/16, Free Webinar: New Information About Specifying and Cleaning Durable Coated Fabrics

Classic Resources

Slidecast: Isolation or Interaction: Healthcare Provider Experience of Design Change

While the role of the built environment is often overlooked in sociology, van Heuvelen examined the role of the environment as a mediator of organizational culture. This ethnographic study draws on sociology and an "inhabited institutionalist" theoretical framework to assess the staff experience of adjusting to the move from an open-bay to a single family room NICU. 

Webinar: Behavioral Health Behind Closed Doors
This webinar explores using fast-track design to help catalyze a new model of behavioral health, using the reduction of barriers, small house concepts and interior design strategies to create positive environments where patients are positively impacted.



Behavioral Health Webinar Day

May 14, 21 & 28, 2020
Behavioral Health Strategic Design Workshop
A Free Virtual Workshop Series

How do you balance patient safety risks to self and others with patient dignity, privacy and comfort – while at the same time preventing treatment environments from resembling prisons? And what impact do your design decisions ultimately have on patient outcomes and health?

We’re bringing together industry-leading experts in a new, engaging, high-quality learning environment to share their real-world experiences and future-looking insights.


Thanks to these partners

Accurate Architecture+
Norix Furniture Patcraft
spec stance healthcare

Whitehall Manufacturing


Kingsway Group

Industry News Briefs

Five Ways to Minimize Infection Risks in a Healthcare Facility 

Facility preparation and clear communication are critical in a health emergency. This is particularly true at a healthcare facility. Following are five essential best practices that healthcare institutions are following to help reduce the impact from an outbreak of an infectious disease:
1. Use visitor management to provide a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is currently and was recently in the facility.
Healthcare Facilities Today,

Designing for the Unknown 

As the COVID-19 crisis challenges healthcare facilities across the world, several changes are emanating from the coronavirus pandemic that ultimately will affect the design of healthcare facilities going forward. “Healthcare design can be an important defense against COVID-19 and other outbreaks,” says Michael Gillespie, partner and national healthcare practice leader at AKF, an engineering, technology, design, consulting, and commissioning firm (New York). 
Healthcare Design,

COVID-19: The Path Forward

As a healthcare architect and planner with a bent towards systemic thinking and innovation, I can’t help considering the long-term effects of the challenges currently impacting healthcare systems across the world and imagining how healthcare environments might change in response over the coming years. Healthcare capital investment projects take a long time to plan, finance, design and build, so the time is now to begin thinking through these impacts—and to begin preparing for what could be our “new, new normal” as we emerge from this current crisis.
Healthcare Design,

Alternative Care Sites, Temporary 


Pandemic Containment 

What hospitals need to consider when responding to COVID-19 and beyond A crisis has once again thrust the topic of temporary hospital spaces into our daily lives. Previously we may have seen these systems utilized in coping with natural disasters. But today they’re on the frontlines of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are lessons learned through recent experience planning temporary spaces for pandemic response. But first, let’s cover some background info: Why do healthcare facilities need temporary hospital spaces?
Medical Construction & Design ,


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. Learn more. For information about sponsor or partnership opportunities, contact our VP of Relationship Development, Randy Carter


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