By Robert Nieminen | Sponsored by ATI
Series articles allow design
practitioners to earn
continuing education unit
credits through the pages
of the magazine. Use the
following learning objectives
to focus your study while
reading this issue’s article.
To receive one hour of
continuing education credit
(0.1 CEU) as approved by
IDCEC, read the article, then
to take the associated
After reading this article, you
should be able to:
◗ Provide a definition of
◗ Identify five positive medical
outcomes as a result of
using EBD principles.
◗ Explain the documented
benefits of using visual arts
in healthcare facilities.
◗ Select appropriate
substrates for digital
printing in specific
THE ART OF
he design of healthcare facilities has been influenced by a number of trends in recent
years that share a key element in common: a focus on patients. Whether it’s creating
single-patient rooms with residential touches to make them feel more inviting or
providing access to daylight and views to nature and beautiful artwork, it’s clear that patient
comfort, satisfaction, and outcomes have taken a front seat in the design of hospitals and
outpatient medical centers.
Underlying the patient-centered care model is credible research that links design with
improved patient and worker safety, patient outcomes, environmental performance, and
operational efficiency.1 Better known as evidence-based design (EBD), this maturing field of
practice has made tremendous strides since its adoption in the early 2000s, thanks in large part
to the launch of the Center for Health Design’s Pebble Project, a dynamic collective of forward-thinking healthcare organizations, architects, designers, and industry partners that share
knowledge and tools to assist in the creation of research-based healthcare design projects.2
Using EBD principles, healthcare facilities today are designed not only to support and facilitate
state-of-the-art medicine and technology, patient safety, and quality patient care, but to also
embrace the patient, family, and caregivers in a psycho-socially supportive, therapeutic environment.
Additionally, the move toward patient-centered care has been accelerated recently due to the
passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the largest reform to the American healthcare system
since the establishment of Medicare in 1965.4 Under the ACA, for the first time healthcare providers
are being rewarded for improving quality and patient satisfaction—outcomes that have been directly
linked to the design of buildings.
5 To design practitioners, the positive impact of the built environment
on occupants likely comes as no surprise, but quantifying that claim is a bigger challenge.
“Every element of a built environment can have a considerable positive or negative impact on
our state of mind and emotional well-being, or so we like to think,” said psychologist Dr. Nicola
Davies, author of “Empathy in Architecture.” “But how can we prove it? That’s where evidence-based design comes into play—and, fortunately, as research on the psychological and neurological
impact of certain design elements is constantly being enhanced, designers are more equipped
than ever with objective facts to back up their seemingly subjective choices.”
This CEU will examine the growing practice of evidence-based design in the healthcare industry,
As a facet of
design, artwork plays
an important role
is taking on exciting
Designers responsible for the
remodel of Johns Hopkins' Nelson/
Harvey Building in Maryland
incorporated graphic artwork
inspired by local landscapes on a
durable, cleanable substrate.