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Design for Patient and Staff Safety: A Systems Approach

When: June 25 - June 26, 2018
Time: 12:00pm Central
Where: Chicago, IL United States
What: Agenda
Price: $925 (Affiliate members log in to website to get member pricing.)
  • Monday, June 25, Noon to Tuesday, June 26, 4:30 PM
  • 9 AIA/EDAC continuing education units
  • Event Flyer
  • Register today and use code "Safety65" to save $65.00 off the registration fee!


The Challenge

With a focus on reducing serious reportable events and optimizing reimbursements, organizations and design teams need to use every tool in the box to improve safety risk factors in renovation projects and new construction. While patient and staff safety has been a critical consideration in the design and construction of the healthcare built environment for decades, it’s easy to lose track of the new and emerging options. No one measure or checklist is adequate. The solution is ultimately linked to an integration of evidence-based design, a facilitated process, and a multi-disciplinary team strategy that considers safety as part of a culture and system that includes facility design.

The Workshop

Designing for safety is complex and many aspects of the built environment can become part of an organization’s strategy to minimize risk.  This one-and-a-half-day intensive workshop will explore a systems-based approach to patient and staff safety. Six areas critical to safety will be discussed including infections, falls, medication errors, security, injuries of behavioral health, and patient handling.

Workshop attendees will participate in an interactive forum lead by industry experts and will explore the role of the built environment in addressing these critical areas of importance and integrating the available options to continually improve outcomes and mitigate harm. Attendees will also get a brief introduction to the free Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) Toolkit, developed by The Center for Health Design through grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to both help teams proactively consider safety during design and meet requirements of the FGI Guidelines.



Event Venue:

Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile
633 N. St. Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Location Information

Room rate: $249.00/night 

Rooms available: 
Sunday, June 24 - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

To make your reservations please contact Natalie Gonzalez at ngonzalez@healthdesign.org

Who Should Attend

Professionals concerned with how the built environment can impact patient and staff safety including:

  • architects 
  • designers 
  • facility managers 
  • clinicians 
  • researchers 
  • administrators
  • risk managers
  • patient experience leaders


Presenting Faculty


Ayse Gurses, PhD, MS, MPH, Associate Professor, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Advancing Safety and Quality In Healthcare: Integrating a Human Factors Perspective



Teri Oelrich, BSN, MBA, Partner, NBBJ

The Future of Smart Patient Room Design 
Current and future technologies will change almost every aspect of patient room design and care delivery. This session explores the future of smart patient room design and various technologies including: highly technical patient beds, interactive walls, virtual reality, patient and staff monitoring equipment and tracking systems, off-site command centers, and technology using 5G. These technologies will impact staffing needs, patient safety, patient experience, and infection control. Assess current patient room design and how they will need to be adapted for future technology. 



Tamara James, MA, CPE, CSPHP, Ergonomics Division Director at Duke University and Health System

Patient and Staff Safety:  Where Does One Begin and the Other One End for Patient Handling?
The session will provide a systems perspective on patient handling as it relates to patient and staff safety, including organizational strategy, policies/procedures, models of care, staff “behavior”/buy-in, and the design of the environment. A successful safe patient handling and mobility program requires buy-in, an effective materials and equipment system, and guidance on the appropriate equipment solutions to enhance patient mobility.  Best practices and key success factors will be discussed at this session.



Debajyoti Pati, PHD, FIIA, IDEC, LEED AP, Professor & Rockwell Endowment Chair, Texas Tech University

Reducing Patient Falls: Where to Focus in Patient Room Design
The effect of patient falls is far-reaching. Falls are the leading cause of injury and account for 6.5 percent of reported sentinel events in hospitals, with a direct medical cost of $34 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While healthcare stakeholders generally agree that the physical design of a space contributes to patient falls, there’s little understanding of the specific role design plays. After all, how could one definitively identify physical environment attributes without witnessing an actual fall event in context? This session will describe the worst offenders, current findings and next steps forward.




Alyssa Rotman, Healthcare Designer, NBBJ Boston

The Reduction of Hospital Acquired Infections through the Built Environment: The Infection Prevention Prototype Patient Room
This session brings outcomes from a built prototype inpatient room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, designed expressly for infection prevention. Review which strategies, materials, and technologies were deployed and learn the process for their selection, including the input from infection prevention officers. Attendees will view data on how the room, constructed and tested in the spring of 2017, is performing in terms of microbe suppression and ease of cleanability. See which interventions appear to be most successful and which strategies will be applied to the next version of the prototype. 


Peter Sharpe, EDAC, Vice President, Irwin P. Sharpe & Associates

A Business Case for Introducing New Technologies
In an evidence-based design evaluation, potential interventions should be assessed based on both their clinical effectiveness and financial impact—including first- and operating-costs as well as the impact associated with potential risk (including the cost to treat and costs of imposed penalties and/or reimbursement programs associated with potential adverse events.)

The session will discuss available infection prevention strategies; and develop a ROI model around various technologies to allow attendees to evaluate and compare relative business case scenarios related to infection prevention strategies.



Chad Beebe, AIA, SASHE, Deputy Executive Director, American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association

Assessing Hospital Ligature Risks for Compliance

The number of suicides continues to increase in the United States, and is now reported by the CDC as the 10th leading cause of death. Regulatory bodies are increasing the focus on ligature and self-harm risks, and some health care facilities have been cited for hazards that could contribute to patient self-harm or suicide in behavioral health areas. For example, Joint Commission Standards specify that interior spaces must meet the needs of the patient population and are safe and suitable to the care, treatment, and services provided. Although inpatient suicides are a relatively small percentage of the overall number of suicides, health care organizations should work to protect patients from self-harm hazards. To help attendees understand the possible patient and staff safety risks, this session will identify potential ligature points and other self-harm concerns, categorized by room type, for behavioral health areas.


Jonas Shultz, MSc, EDAC, Human Factors Specialist, Health Quality Council of Alberta

Medication Safety Consideration from A Systems Perspective
This presentation will describe a systems approach to enhance medication safety using Human Factors strategies.  Specifically, it will highlight various considerations, evaluation strategies, and previously completed projects which aim to optimize tasks being performed, information and equipment used, and the design of environments for individuals involved in the medication use process.



Thomas A. Smith, CHPA, CPP, President, Healthcare Security Consultants, Inc.

Improving Security and Safety While Reducing Risk Through Design
Violence in hospitals and health care facilities is a serious issue, but proper training and security planning can help to reduce the number and potential for incidents.  This session will investigate best practices available to address security issues in the design process and explain the importance of addressing physical and operational security issues during concept development and design. Attendees will learn how to discover opportunities to limit the potential for security disruptions in healthcare facilities, recognize security-sensitive areas in healthcare settings, design security measures to complement the services provided and identify the expertise needed for multidisciplinary project teams to successfully address security concerns.