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Safety

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. 
To View A Complete List Of Toolbox Contents And Resources, Click Here. 

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Insights & Solutions

Issue Brief
February 2019 Issue Brief
Executive Summary 

As outlined in the accompanying Backgrounder, behavioral and mental health (BMH) patient populations may present a higher risk for self-harm or harm to others. This brief includes an update to the content developed in 2013 through a consensus-based expert workgroup. Design considerations are outlined in the associated Design Strategies and the online Safety Risk Assessment (SRA).

Design Strategies
February 2019 Design Strategies

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.

Tool
February 2019 Tool

The following table 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). It is not intended to serve as a substitute for the online version of the SRA tool.

 

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