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. Because of the generous support and partnership with Grainger, The Center is happy to announce, all safety materials produced for this toolbox are available and free to all until December, 2021.
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:
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.
- "Understanding Injury in Behavioral and Mental Health Settings"
- "Safety Risk Assessment: The Center for Health Design Toolkit - Risk Components"
- "Preventing Injuries and Increasing Safety Among Older Adults"
- "Clean Hands Save Lives: A Systems Approach to Improving Hand Hygiene"
Seven Video and Written Interviews
- "Understanding the Unique Design Needs of Behavioral Health Facilities", a written interview with James Hunt, AIA, NCARB
- "Patient Safety - Next Steps for the Industry", a video interview with Elly Waaijer, MSc, CCMM, OT
- "Patient Safety - Five Category Ergonomics and Design Classification System," a video interview with Elly Waaijer, MSc, CCMM, OT
- "Patient Safety - a Multi-Disciplinary Approach," a video interview with Elly Waaijer, MSc, CCMM, OT
- "Patient Safety- Key Issues," a video interview with Elly Waaijer, MSc, CCMM, OT
- "Patient Safety and Comfort, Part 2," a video interview with Elly Waaijer, MSc CCMM, OT
- "Patient Safety," an Interview with Elly Waaijer, MSc, CCMM, OT
Two EBD Journal Clubs
- "An Assessment Of Levels Of Safety In Psychiatric Units", this article aims to understand the incident patterns in relation to different types of spaces within a psychiatric unit, which are discussed using the five levels of safety framework.
- "Security Implications Of Physical Design Attributes In The Emergency Department", the objective of this study was to identify physical design attributes that potentially influence safety and efficiency of ED operations.
- "Injury in Behavioral & Mental Health Settings: A Safety Risk Assessment Roadmap," provides a crosswalk of design categories in the built environment (e.g., unit layout) and safety issues to consider in behavioral and mental health settings (e.g., blind spots). This table is meant to serve as a high-level roadmap for design considerations in conjunction with the online Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) toolkit (www.healthdesign.org/sra).
Six Design Strategies
- "Reducing Injury and Harm in Behavioral & Mental Health Settings," the following design solutions are a brief summary of the content found in Reducing Injury and Harm: An Issue Brief on Safety for Behavioral & Mental Health. They are organized by building design category.
- "Reducing Patient Falls: Top Five Physical Design Factors Warranting Attention"
- "Automating Safety: How Design Research Can Reveal Solutions for Safe Environments"
- "Medication Safety Considerations from a Systems Perspective"
- "Safety Risk Assessment 2.0"
- "Mitigate Falls Risk in Hospitals—Evidence-based Design Recommendations"
- "Patient Safety: Considering Risk in the Built Environment"
Click here to view all Safety Toolbox resources.
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