It seems I’d barely removed my pirate gear for Halloween, and the holiday bells were already hung with care on the storefront next to our office! This time of year is also referred to as
“conference season” in our office, for the numerous long-term, acute, and outpatient care provider
events happening, including Healthcare Design,
Greenbuild, and many others!
Healthcare Design was recently held at the
Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
It provided research, meaningful reunions of colleagues
and friends, sharing of ideas, and looking to the future
for innovative care and design solutions.
A pre-conference session entitled, “Coaching
Workshop: Practicing Evidence Based Design
(EBD)” included teams of designers and providers
working with EBD coaches. The three questions for
evaluation to start an evidence based design process presented by Dr. Upali Nanda included:
◗ What’s the challenge?
◗ What’s the strategy?
◗ What are the outcomes?
As a design professional, it is essential to understand which tools are important to each group of
users, including staff members, residents, patients,
families, and volunteers. In order to explain and
receive support for a recommended change, the
user has to understand why the change in operation,
flow, or design is important and who it benefits, and
potentially what the return on investment looks like.
For example, if point-of-service storage is
located within a resident or patient room, this is
important to nurses because there will be less travel
steps and more time for resident/patient direct care.
This can be evaluated by providing a mock-up,
tracking number of steps, and demonstrating the
ROI in terms of time, impact to total FTEs, and
Ellen Taylor, the director of research at the
Center for Health Design, addressed evidence based
design and the business case. We must look at the
design implications with reduced reimbursements,
she said. She recommended adding the risk manager
into the integrated design team during the planning
state of the project, as this assists with supporting
a lifecycle evaluation versus simply a first-cost look
at construction projects.
I’m an avid Harley rider, so the keynote from Ken
Schmidt (the brand visionary that marketed Harley
as a lifestyle instead of a commodity) resonated with me. When considering
design and your practice, are you simply a commodity that is traded back and
forth based on price? Are you going after all projects in the same way, competing
with the same other firms? Or are you setting yourself up for a future that differ-
entiates your company and services? Ken Schmidt recommended that you fully
study the following three questions in regard to your practice and your services:
◗ What are people saying?
◗ What do you want them to say?
◗ What are you doing to get them to say it?
He used the slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!” It has
defined a destination that everyone is drawn to. And what do they do after a
visit? They always tell everyone what happens!
My colleague and friend Teri Bennett, a designer at Johns Hopkins
University, has coined the phrase, “Shiny is dirty, mat is where it’s at!” She
uses it an expression for flooring characteristics. It’s much more effective than
“Shiny doesn’t necessarily mean a floor is clean!” So what is your message
as a designer and a firm, and how does it reflects what you want people to
say and repeat about you?
Product manufacturers are really listening and paying attention to the needs
that healthcare providers and designers are looking for: solutions that address
multiple issues. Wieland’s Accord Recliner has a transfer arm for ease of
transfer bedside and a different locking/turning system that allows for the
chair to turn and be maneuvered within the chair’s own footprint.
Patcraft introduced some interesting new backing solutions and has invested
in new manufacturing for recycling operations and resilient flooring production
50 INTERIORS & SOURCES DECEMBER 2015
By Jane Rohde, AIA, FIIDA, ACHA, AAHID, LEED AP, Green Globes CIEB Assessor
ABOVE + OPPOSITE The
Center for Health
Design's board of directors
honored several with
awards; Architex introduced
new vinyl upholstery that
looked like textiles.
ABOVE PressaliCare sinks
make a difference in
Kwalu partnered with Clorox
in designing a product and
cleaning solution in one.
It’s upon us, so here’s how
to make the most of it.