The Center for Health Design has been busy this year, working on developing a variety of new tools and resources for design professionals to optimize the design and operation of healthcare buildings. The goal is to identify solutions that best support patients and families, increase staff satisfaction, and improve safety and efficiency. This fall marks the launch of several new resources to further support these efforts:

Healthcare in the Home. The latest update to The Center’s Design Insights and Strategies Tool is now available, thanks to a generous multiyear grant from the Angelo Donghia Foundation, which supports causes in interior design, education, and AIDS research. The online tool offers interactive diagrams of healthcare spaces, giving users the ability to select evidence-based design (EBD) features, and view research that supports those solutions (for example, see how a specific layout of an exam room patient zone has been proven to facilitate better communication between patient and physician). Existing tools focus on the medical/surgical patient room, ICU patient room, maternity care patient room, and primary care exam room. This newest addition—Healthcare in the Home—is the first of multiple home spaces being researched by The Center’s research team. Additional resources related to home healthcare design will be released over the next five years through continued support from the Angelo Donghia Foundation. The tool is available at www.healthdesign.org/insights-solutions/design-insights-strategies-tool.

Safety Risk Assessment Tool. Also available on The Center’s website, this resource is the online version of the Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) toolkit. It’s designed to help design teams proactively identify and mitigate built environment conditions that could adversely affect patient and worker safety in healthcare environments and supports the 2014 Facility Guidelines Institute’s Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities. The web-based version allows users to input facility data to view risk potential. Instructional videos provide answers to questions and offer tips, and a safe design roadmap is available to help leadership teams implement strategies to ensure their projects are focused on critical measures. The SRA feature provides a step-by-step process and can be used to promote team discussion early in the planning, programming, and design phases. The resource will be available online in fall.

Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards. The Center is launching a new awards program to recognize the EBD process in healthcare design. The new Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards are a next step to the EDAC program and the progression of EBD in our industry. Through this program, The Center will recognize the use of EBD in the pursuit of increasing value and improving outcomes, with awards given to projects that show exemplary achievement in collaboration, evaluation, and sharing. Submissions are now being accepted through Sept. 15, and the first awards will be given at The Center’s VIP reception at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Orlando this November. Find more information and the submission form at www.healthdesign.org.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming in the next few months as we gear up for our 25th anniversary celebration in 2018.

Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for Health Design. She can be reached at dlevin@healthdesign.org.