When you run an annual conference—especially one as big as ours—the planning never really stops. As soon as one year’s conference wraps up, you’re working on next year’s. And after months of behind-the-scenes content wrangling and planning meetings, it’s exciting to get to the point when you can start sharing details with the rest of the world.

Our conference division has announced the keynote speakers and the list of session tracks for the 2013 Healthcare Design Conference (Orlando, Fla., November 16-19). The details:

Opening keynote: Thomas Goetz.Goetz is the former executive editor of Wired magazine, author of The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine (Rodale Books), and—as announced just this week—the new entrepreneur-in-residence at the health-focused philanthropic organization Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He’s been covering the confluence of medicine, health, and technology for over 15 years, and has a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Closing Keynote: Jake Poore. As founder and president of Integrated Loyalty Systems, Poore has worked with major healthcare organizations to help them develop “cultural blueprints” to allow them to create and manage positive patient and staff experiences. To do this, he relies on his insight gleaned from almost 20 years with Walt Disney Co., along with the study of best practices from service leaders such as Southwest Airlines and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Some of his healthcare clients include Kaiser Permanente, Cigna Medical Group, Vanguard Health System, Penn Medicine, Ochsner Health System, and National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Educational program tracks. My recommendation: Bring your team—then divide and conquer. There’s a lot on the program, including:

  • Advancements in Evidence-Based Design Research, focusing on juried research studies that span healthcare design environments.
  • Improving the Patient and Family Experience.
  • Programming, Planning, and Design, addressing a number of case studies, methodologies, and outcomes in the healthcare built environment processes.
  • The High Performance Hospital,which goes beyond basic sustainability imperatives to high-impact ecological, energy-saving, and cost-saving strategies.
  • Lessons from International Initiatives.
  • LEAN Methods and Methodologies.
  • Pediatric Perspectives. 
  • Perspectives on Behavioral Health.
  • Ambulatory Care Advancements.
  • Redefining the OR.
  • Oncology Approaches.
  • Design for Disaster and Safety.
  • Post-Occupancy Evaluations, a full track that further examines the use, effectiveness and applications of post occupancy evaluations.

There are more, too, and the full conference details—including all the individual session descriptions—are expected to go live on the conference website in May.