Do We Really Need Another Healthcare Design Summit?

Posted on

Do We Really Need Another Healthcare Design Summit?

The question has been asked. Read this article to find the answer.

Call for Submissions: Win free registration to the 2015 Healthcare Design Conference in DC

Posted on Updated on

2015Design Competition croppedThe Institute for Patient-Centered Design has launched a design competition to develop “The Patient Centered Behavioral Health Environment.”  This year, the Institute’s goal is to raise awareness of the needs of patients in mental health facilities. We invite design teams to submit their ideas (in the form of built or schematic design).

The top two scoring teams (selected by our jury) will each receive one free full registration to attend the 2015 Healthcare Design Conference in Washington, DC where they will present their design submissions.  The team with the third highest score will be offered the discounted speaker’s rate for one team member to join this presentation. These teams will each have an opportunity to walk the audience through their design solutions in virtual reality space during our educational session.  Conference attendees will vote for their favorite projects.  The winning project will be built in 2016.

Learn More

BH Sponsors

The Institute Inspires Teenage Girls while Developing Recommendations for Lactation Room Design

Posted on Updated on

mother_baby_after_workTo encourage better provisions for women to express breast milk in the workplace, the Institute is developing design recommendations for lactation rooms.

(SUMMERVILLE, SC – May 22, 2015) – The Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc. (The Institute) was awarded a 2014-2015 Community Action Grant by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which has provided funding for innovative programs that promote education and equality for women and girls since 1972, with special consideration given to projects that focus on girls’ and young women’s achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Institute is utilizing these funds to proceed with its lactation room design recommendations in its new location in Summerville, South Carolina. This project seeks to provide high-school females with an interest in design and leadership an opportunity to learn more about the field through the design of “mom-friendly” lactation rooms. Additionally, lactation room design recommendations will be produced and available to the public online at the end of the project.

“We are thrilled to have received the Community Action Grant as it will enable us to fulfill our goal of developing a free resource that may be used by employers to inspire better lactation rooms in the workplace,” says Tammy Thompson, program director.

The Institute learned from a report by the CDC, that women who work outside the home do not breastfeed as long as stay-at-home mothers. The Institute’s team suspects that the lack of accommodations for breast milk expression contributes largely to a woman’s decision to wean her baby early or to avoid breastfeeding altogether. In 2010 the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act was amended to require break time and a private lactation space (not a restroom) for mothers who wish to express breast milk in the workplace; however, many facilities are not yet compliant.

“Our project is two-fold,” says Thompson who is a licensed architect and certified lactation counselor. “It’s an initiative to provide more ‘mom friendly’ lactation rooms for mothers who would like to express milk in the workplace, while also making strides to remedy the dearth of women in the field of architecture through the mentorship of teenage girls.”

With this program, high-school girls with an interest in the field will have the opportunity to partake in the step-by-step design of a model lactation room, gaining project experience and leadership skills. The project is expected to last two years and will involve the expertise of lactation specialists, employers and working mothers.

About the Institute for Patient-Centered Design

The Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc. is a 501 (c ) (3) nonprofit organization founded by patients and design professionals with the purpose of giving patients a voice in the development of the healing environment. The Institute provides education and resources to healthcare providers and health facility designers to address the needs of patients.

To learn more about the Institute’s initiatives, visit the Institute’s project website, or call (404) 890-5646.

Secure the Early Bird Rate Today!

Posted on Updated on

Count Down BeginsOnly ten days remain to secure your registration at the early bird rate!  Held at an academic medical center, the Patient-Centered Design Innovation Summit provides an opportunity to earn up to 18 hours of continuing education credit while immersed in learning labs.

Top 3 Main Attractions:

Attraction Number 1

Design Rounds” in the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Simulation Center

Attraction Number 2

Family-Centered Cancer Care Mock-Up Unveiled at MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center

Attraction Number 3

Innovation Sessions with Health Facility Stakeholders

Other Details:

Secure the Early Bird Rate Now!

PCD Innovation Summit Registration

$499.00 Early Bird Price (through May 31, 2015)

$599.00 (after May 31, 2015)

$650.00 (after July 31, 2015)

Learn More

Register Now!

The Institute Opens Registration for its Inaugural Patient-Centered Design Innovation Summit (PCD-IS)

Posted on Updated on

Holland EntranceHeld at an Academic Medical Center, the PCD-IS will bring health facility design leaders together to collaborate on new solutions for patient-centered design.

ON MAY 6, 2015 – The Institute for Patient-Centered Design has opened registration for its inaugural Patient-Centered Design Innovation Summit.  The Summit will take place from Sunday, September 27 until Tuesday, September 29, 2015 in Charleston, SC.  Its events will be held at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), a leading medical research institution.

A multidisciplinary group of leaders in the health facility design profession will converge on the Summit, along with researchers, clinicians and patients.  “This event has been designed with limited seats to allow our participants to collaborate in small groups, form business relationships and for each person to contribute to patient-centered design solutions,” says Tammy Thompson, the Institute’s president.  “Using the state of the art Simulation Center at MUSC, we will be able to conduct multiple simulation labs during the program.”

The Institute will also build a pediatric oncology model as its newest Patient Experience Simulation Lab.  Inspired by ERDMAN’s winning design submission selected for the 2014 Family-Centered Cancer Care Design Competition, this model will be unveiled at MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center, the largest academic cancer center and only National Cancer Institute in South Carolina.  It will be on exhibit there for three days during the Summit.  “This will create an educational opportunity that is not available at most institutions and hopefully have a lasting effect on those involved,” says Dr. Rozanne Wille, the mother of little “Hendo” whose battle with childhood cancer inspired the design competition.  As a juror of the competition, Dr. Wille continues to advise the project, and she serves on the Summit’s faculty to share her experience as a parent and a physician with attendees.

Lean Design is Patient Centric!

Posted on Updated on

In my role as the co-chair of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) of Georgia, I serve as one of the organizers of this group’s quarterly events.  During the planning stages of the most recent event, we administered a survey to the AAH of GA mailing list of healthcare designers and allied professionals to allow them to select the topics that they consider important in the profession.  I was not surprised to discover that the majority of our group’s participants were most interested in learning about lean healthcare.  As an architect, I find that more and more designers are seeking information on this subject to respond to the needs of their clients and to become well versed on an emerging design consideration in healthcare projects.  

Last month, Herman Miller Healthcare presented an AIA registered Continuing Education lecture during AAH of Georgia’s quarterly meeting in Atlanta.  The lecture was delivered by Roger Call, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP; Director of Healthcare Architecture and Design for Herman Miller Healthcare and presented by Herman Miller Healthcare in Atlanta. 
Call explained to the group that Herman Miller has entered into a mentorship relationship with Toyota in order to learn about its lean processes (although Toyota doesn’t call it lean) with the intent of implementing a similar system for its operations.  He went on to explain the core concepts of lean, what lean is not, and how it relates to healthcare clients. 
According to Call, lean design is a system that focuses on understanding and meeting customers’ needs through engaging and investing in the development of employees.  He explained that its goal is not to eliminate jobs, but rather to identify waste and inefficiencies in an assembly line process model and to empower every member of the team to contribute to successful outcomes, getting what they need, when they need it, in the correct amount, thereby eliminating waste. 
Roger Call highlighted seven forms of waste, giving healthcare examples for each.  Many of his examples are summarized below.
1.  Over production:  Scheduling all patients to arrive at one time
2.  Waiting:  Caregivers required to wait for the necessary tools to provide patient care
3.  Conveyance:  Transporting patients, equipment and supplies
4.  Process:  Numerous schedules in systems that are not in sync
5.  Inventory:  Wrong supplies in the wrong locations
6.  Motion:  Inefficient travel distances or unsafe movement for caregivers
7. Correction: Unnecessary time and expense to resolve a problem created by a flawed process, such as medical errors
As I listened to these examples, there seemed to be an apparent relationship between the forms of waste and the common obstacles that lead to patient frustration and dissatisfaction.  As an advocate for thoughtful patient-centric design, I found it quite refreshing that such a thoroughly tested, well-defined process is currently being implemented in health facilities.  This not only positively transforms the operations of health systems, but it also supports improved patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.  
Herman Miller Healthcare identifies lean as “a system that focuses on understanding and meeting our customer’s needs exactly through the engagement and development of our employees” and a “system that seeks and enables higher and higher levels of performance through thinking and learning (Call, 2012).”  This strategy can be embraced by healthcare designers, developing solutions that allow each member of the healthcare team to perform to the standards that today’s patients expect.  In essence, lean healthcare design is also patient-centric, offering a structured approach for positioning patients’ needs in a healthcare project and maintaining momentum with continuous evaluation of its success.  This is a promising step forward that will surely benefit our patient-end users and the entire care team! 
Institute for Patient-Centered Design offers 10 Principles of Patient-Centered Design developed as guidelines for the design process.  To view these principles, please visit For more information on Herman Miller’s work in lean healthcare, please visit
Call, R. (2012) “Lean Design in Healthcare Facilities.”  AIA AAH of GA Quarterly Networking, Continuing Education Event.
Other Resources:
o     To view the report that sparked the movement to reduce medical errors, see Institute of Medicine, To Err is Human,
o     For more information on patient dissatisfaction, please view
o     For more information on healthcare quality standards, see
·            The Joint Commission,
·            Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ),
 – Tammy S. Thompson, NCARB, CLC
Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc.

A Lesson From Patients, written by Tammy Smith Thompson, NCARB, EDAC

Posted on Updated on

As the Institute continues to expand its reach, I have been fortunate to participate in a number of opportunities in which I have learned from patients. Earlier this year, I attended “Hospitals and Communities Moving Forward with Patient- and Family-Centered Care: An Intensive Training Seminar” hosted by the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC). This seminar, which is offered twice per year in various locations, was designed on a smaller scale than IPFCC’s annual international conference. With about 300 attendees, this seminar is the ideal environment for its participants (comprised of healthcare executives, senior leadership and other administrators, clinicians, healthcare professionals, consultants, innovators, patient and family leaders, patient experience specialists and other stakeholders in the healthcare system) to engage in meaningful dialogue on the improvement of the patient and family experience from a wide range of perspectives.

As a patient advocate, I was particularly moved by a session entitled “Learning from Patient and Family Stories.” This plenary session enabled all seminar participants to listen to a diverse cross section of personal accounts by patients and their families of memorable healthcare experiences. I thought the stories were invaluable, particularly for professionals who are in a position to make decisions that influence the patient experience, but may not have regular access to patients in order to learn firsthand about their needs. With representatives from many different organizations and professions in the room (including over 100 nurses, 25 physicians, 40 patients and family members from 100 organizations across the U.S and abroad), I am certain that the messages taken away from this session were quite diverse. I left with the following messages from their stories:

1. Patients want to be treated as individuals, with consideration of who they are outside of the medical conditions that bring them in for treatment. Whether a newlywed, a business professional, a mother or grandparent, the patients made it clear that the normalcy of their lives mattered. They wanted the caregivers to respond not only to their medical conditions, but also to their personalities that make them individuals, not numbers. One patient felt most comfortable when she was able to bring her work in during treatments.

2. Patients were equally, if not even more concerned about the family members who were their partners in care. They wanted these important team members to be well-informed, comfortable, and treated with respect. When reflecting on the kindness shown to his new bride, one patient remarked, “I knew that I was dealing with people who were not just looking after me, but the ‘rest of me’.”

3. Patients appreciate due diligence performed not only by front line medical staff, but also from other staff members who may have an impact on their care. In the words of a patient, “When you pick up that file, it is just as important as when the surgeon picks up the scalpel, because until you do your job, he can’t do his[job].”

These messages have been echoed in my interviews with patients and participation in patient focus groups. Later this year, we will have the opportunity to explore design strategies for engaging patients and their families. Our Patient Experience Simulation Lab, which will be introduced at the 2012 Healthcare Design Conference, will enable patients and patient advocates, clinicians, other healthcare stakeholders and designers to gather in small groups inside a full-scale model of an inpatient room to discuss common design decisions that create obstacles for patients and to brainstorm for solutions. We hope you will join us for this exciting learning experience. In the meantime, let’s all keep our eyes and ears open for the opportunity to learn from patients and their families!