The effort to promote and support population health and wellness has few rivals in its influence on healthcare today, inspiring the planning, design, and construction community to create environments that help providers deliver on that mission. The solutions being brought to the table vary widely, though, each in its own way answering the call. Healthcare Design asked industry members how wellness is being defined in their work—and they showed us. In this special report, "All Is Well," (to be published in the May 2016 issue of the magazine and in installments online in April and May), find a sampling of the myriad innovative and inspiring approaches being taken.
Ever wish there was a way to measure the results of wellness initiatives in the built environment? HDR is giving it a shot, with a wellness dashboard tool it conceived last summer as a company-wide initiative and began developing in January.

The inspiration was the growing number of client requests for biophilic design and other wellness strategies to be integrated into projects—as well as questions that followed, such as what data was available to capture effectiveness or how to measure cost against benefit.

So the firm set out to create a technology that will produce hard metrics for design teams to present to clients to answer some of those questions in early design phases and for healthcare organizations to continue to use after building occupancy.

With a release expected in October, the tool will first focus on the connection between light and wellness, with light identified as the most prolific category to affect the productivity and well-being of employees and patients/visitors. The dashboard will essentially work like a personal health tracking device (think Fitbit) that’s user-friendly and captures trends in a way that connects the dots between strategies in place and their effect on building systems and cost.

The firm says this will be followed in future phases by metrics for air, nature, acoustics, choice, water, mind, materials, fitness, and nourishment