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Design interventions to improve well-being for patients with behavioral and mental health (BMH) conditions will often have impacts on other populations, as well (e.g., staff, visitors, non-BMH patients who use the same facility). This tool will help you consider those broader impacts and incorporate them into an evidence-based process for a universal design approach.
Inside you will learn about: why behavioral health facilities have very different design requirements than general hospitals; how different areas of a behavioral health unit have different safety needs that influence design choices; and which types of safety measures and products should be incorporated into behavioral health units.
Behavioral health settings guided by strict safety design measures often result in spaces that are stark, plain, and isolated - potentially exacerbating environmental stressors and escalating already difficult patient situations. Acute care emergency settings have a particular set of challenges as EDs are predicting increased visits from behavioral health patients. Faced with the challenge of designing a behavioral health care setting in the Emergency Department at UnityPoint Health in Rock Island, IL, the project team hypothesized that the creation of a Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) with a “Living Room Concept” would provide a higher quality of care to patients while assisting in the staff’s ability to quickly consult and treat a diverse set of patients entering the ED.