The 2010 edition of the Facility Guidelines Institute’s (FGI) Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities is currently being revised, with a new version set to be published in 2014.

Douglas S. Erickson, FASHE, CHFM, HFDP, CHC, deputy executive director, ASHE, Chicago, urged attendees of his ASHE Annual Conference session, “Be a Part of the Success: Future Direction of the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities,” to review the changes currently being considered and to submit changes to the Health Guidelines Revision Committee (HGRC) before the public proposal period ends on October 31, 2011.

Erickson discussed what work the HGRC has done to date, reviewing the portions of the guidelines being suggested for revision and how they stand to impact the future of the design and construction of healthcare facilities.

After the public proposal period closes in October, a manuscript draft will be made available on September 1, 2012, with a public comment period running through January 1, 2013. The new guidelines will be published on February 15, 2014.

For Part 1 of the document, which relates to general construction and design details, the following topic areas have been targeted for revision:

  • Architectural details;
  • Facility management;
  • Planning, design, and construction;
  • Infection prevention;
  • Acoustics;
  • Information technology;
  • Surfaces and finishings; and
  • Sustainable design.

Digging a bit deeper, Erickson says such specifics will be tackled as creating a functional program, or a road map by ownership that details how a project will be carried out to make sure the physical environment supports clinical procedures.

Another hot topic is acoustics and how to address it with goals for fewer errors, clearer communication, and lower stress levels for patients and staff.

Touching on commissioning and sustainable design, Erickson next moved to patient safety. “I firmly believe this is where the Guidelines will excel in 2014,” he says. The concept discussed is that owners should provide a risk assessment within each space or component that is part of a project for all new projects and major renovations going forward.

Part 2 of the guidelines, specifically for hospitals, covers more niche categories, such as children’s facilities, bariatrics, cancer care centers, rehabilitation facilities, medical imaging, and nursing units. Such specifics as exam room size and designing for building systems are part of the guidelines up for revision. Included in the review is another subject that’s received plenty of attention this year since Johns Hopkins released research on it—hands-free faucets. Likewise, toilet rooms/spoiled utility rooms in critical care patient rooms also will be addressed.

Part 3 of the guidelines covers ambulatory care and will see considerations to sections on outpatient facilities, mobile units, cancer treatment centers, and the redefining of operating rooms.

To review the guidelines and submit proposed revisions or redactions, please visit