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MAY 2022

The Knowledge Repository Turns 10

This year we celebrate the launch ten years ago of The Center for Health Design’s Knowledge Repository.

Our early healthcare design research projects drew from hundreds of sources uncovered by our research staff at a time when the evidence supporting research-based design wasn’t always easy to find.

The concept was to share this initial trove of citations with other research pioneers and early evidence-based design practitioners by creating an open-access, searchable database, and continue to add to it over time.

Funding and support from the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Health, ASHE and FGI helped make our vision a reality, and their continued support every year since helps grow the Knowledge Repository and improve its functionality and accessibility.

In ten years the Repository has grown over ten-fold, today housing nearly 5,500 articles, research citations and source links on a wide range of healthcare design topics. Curated by The Center’s research staff, it’s organized by resource type, design category, outcome category, paper type and year published.

To help improve understanding and use of research and papers, over 850 Key Point Summaries have been created that summarize key concepts, objectives, methods, findings, limitations and design implications. These help make the Knowledge Repository an invaluable tool – and probably The Center’s greatest resource – for those new to healthcare design and experienced practitioners alike.

Need to learn more about an unfamiliar design topic? Looking for the latest research to inform a current design project? Check out the Knowledge Repository today.

Be well,

Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO

P.S. While I’m on the subject of research… are you an up-and-coming researcher, or do you know one? Submissions close June 3 for our Joseph G. Sprague New Investigator Award. Investigators in the early phases of their research career – in academia or professional practice – can receive up to $10,000 for research projects that examine how the built environment impacts outcomes in healthcare settings. Learn more here.


TODAY! Two Webinars on Design’s Ability to Transform Community Health


Through Unity and Hope: How Community Health Centers are Bridging the Health Equity Gap

May 12, 2022
10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT
CEUs Available

Community health centers are essential to a resilient public health infrastructure, promote healthier communities, and help eliminate barriers to equitable care. Hear how this design strategy approach reveals design ideas and opportunities for all types of healthcare facilities in any location.

Learn more and register here.

City West — Does Revitalizing the Neighborhood Revitalize the People?

May 12, 2022
12:00 PM PDT / 3:00 PM EDT
CEUs Available

Listen to the inspiring story of City West, a mixed-income, urban neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. Two architects who helped design the community will provide lessons applicable to the design and construction of every health and wellness environment and share the design decisions that worked, that didn’t, and spark your imagination for what could be.

Learn more and register here.


Free Tools & Resources

Behavioral & Mental Health Toolbox

Thanks to the generous support of Accurate Lock & Hardware, BestCare by Whitehall Manufacturing and Altro our Behavioral & Mental Health Toolbox is now open for free access to our entire healthcare design community.

Comprised of content authored and curated by The Center's research staff, the toolbox contains a vast array of design research, resources and tools for connecting the built environment to better health outcomes and reduced cost of care.

Visit the Behavioral & Mental Health Toolbox.

Interactive Design Diagram: Therapeutic ED Treatment Room

Two goals are often at the center of current care models for mental or behavioral health: safety and healing. In the Emergency Department, design has traditionally focused on safety for both patients and staff through checklists for ligature-resistance. Newer approaches place a strong emphasis on healing, as well, resulting in a therapeutic approach for a more flexible use of a Treatment Room.

In our most recent diagram addition, healing and safety design strategies are drawn from behavioral health-focused design interventions to inform an emergency department room that can improve outcomes for all.

Visit the diagram.

Upcoming Events

Make Sure to Get These Events on Your Calendar

Today 5/12 10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT, Webinar: Through Unity and Hope: How Community Health Centers are Bridging the Health Equity Gap

Today 5/12 12:00 PM PDT / 3:00 PM EDT, Webinar: City West — Does Revitalizing the Neighborhood Revitalize the People?

5/19 8:00 AM PDT / 11:00 AM EDT, Workshop: Design for Behavioral & Mental Health in Much Needed Settings and Circumstances

5/24 10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT, Voices of the Industry Webinar: Health, Wellness and Wellbeing: The Power of Biophilic Design for People and Communities

6/3, Deadline: Joseph G. Sprague New Investigator Award RFP Due

6/8 11:00 AM PDT / 2:00 PM EDT, Affiliate Member Connections Call (Members Only)

6/17, Deadline: 2023 Environments for Aging Conference + Expo Presentations Due

6/21 10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT, Webinar: Designing Alternate Telehealth Locations for Access, Infection Control and Privacy

6/24 8:00 AM PDT / 11:00 AM EDT, Virtual Coaching Workshop: Practical Application of Evidence-Based Design

Classic Resources

Slidecast: The Impact of Clinic Design on Teamwork Development in Primary Care

Does clinic design for co-located staff improve teamwork? Increasingly, outpatient care is delivered with a team-based approach to care, often called the patient centered medical home. A key principle of this model is to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place, using the right provider, which is not necessarily the MD.

Team-based care benefits from a different physical layout, most often associated with co-located staff or decentralization. In a recent study, researchers conducted a quasi-experimental design using 13 clinics in mostly rural communities to analyze the differences among the clinics in each group, and establish whether the co-location was the issue, or something else.

Member Project: Contemporary Women’s Care

Contemporary Women’s Care is an all-female OB/GYN practice dedicated to the total health care needs of women. One of the few truly independent OB/GYN practices left in the greater Orlando, FL area, the team at Contemporary Women’s Care is passionate about preserving the relationships between patients and their providers. The goal of this project was to provide seamless and flexible equipment management solutions to an environment where form and function meet head on.

Industry News Briefs

Why Healthcare Facilities Must Prioritize Furniture Decisions

Safety is at the top of mind for everyone within a hospital or healthcare facility. Whether it’s with cleaning practices, technology, tools or even furniture, designers are always prioritizing the health and wellness of whoever steps into the facility. When it comes to furniture, it is crucial that designers select the best options that will function appropriately within the space, but will also maintain longevity as they will be used often.
Healthcare Facilities Today,

Nursing Home Quality of Care Declining, Action and Research Needed

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine paints a dire picture for nursing home residents if issues brought to light during the pandemic are not immediately addressed. Specifically, it found that inadequate staffing numbers, shortcomings in oversight and regulation, and poor infection control are jeopardizing the lives of 1.3 million Americans living in the 15,000 certified nursing homes nationwide.
MedCity News,

Hospital Design is Key to Health and Wellbeing

What is a hospital’s primary purpose? To offer a diagnosis for disease, to treat the sick and injured or to provide shelter in a series of buildings for those during periods of treatment? Some define a hospital’s primary purpose as catering for the wellbeing of all.
The Scotsman,

Why Mental Healthcare is Less Accessible to Marginalized Communities

Individuals from minoritized ethnic communities are generally less likely to use mental healthcare services than the majority white population. Some of the reasons for disparities in mental health utilization by marginalized ethnic groups include provider discrimination, lack of adequate health insurance, high costs, limited access to quality care, stigma, mistrust of the healthcare system, and limited awareness about mental illnesses.
Medical News Today,

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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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