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Safety Toolbox


The Center for Health Design has launched the Safety toolbox containing a library of newly-created and Center staff-curated content. Included in this toolbox are research findings, expert insights, strategies, and other useful resources connecting the built environment to better health outcomes and reduced cost of care. 

Safety has often been addressed differently between the design industry and healthcare owners. Designers often think of safety in the context of fire and life safety, while healthcare owners and caregivers may think of safety in the context of serious reportable events and hospital-acquired conditions. But poorly designed and operated healthcare environments can also contribute to harm associated with adverse events such as healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), medication errors, injury from patient handling, self-harm (or violence against others), security breaches, and falls.

Safety in healthcare is complex and requires a systems approach – understanding the organizational factors, the people, and the often overlooked environment. This toolbox details six risk components in healthcare settings (going beyond fire and life safety), with design considerations for the built environment that may contribute to improved safety for all who use a facility – staff, patients, visitors, and others. 

These considerations support an evidence-based design approach to target six areas of safety as required in the FGI Guidelines Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) process: Infection Control, Security, Patient Handling, Falls, Medication Safety and Behavioral Health Associated Injury.

The Center has created this toolbox to assist healthcare organizations, designers, suppliers and others involved in the planning, design, construction and operation of healthcare facilities with pertinent tools including:




The Safety Toolbox Contains:

Ten Executive Summaries or Backgrounders for quick reference of key points

This Safety Module consists of Issue Briefs, Backgrounders, and Top Design Strategies, and were created as a supplement to the Safety Risk Assessment toolkit. The toolkit is not intended to guarantee a safe environment; the environment is one part of a safety solution that includes operational policies, procedures, and behavior. It is intended for use with the collaborative input of project- and facility-based expertise.

Seven Video and Written Interviews

Two EBD Journal Clubs

Design Tools 

Six Design Strategies

Six Webinars


Click here for more Safety Toolbox resources.

* Want to learn how to become an Affiliate+ member?  Contact Lynn Kenney, lkenney@healthdesign.org