HEALTHCARE DESIGN 2014 – Catch the Earlybird Special!

Royal Terns by Henry Domke

Royal terns. Photo by Henry Domke,

When: November 15-18, 2014
Where: San Diego, CA

I always look forward to HEALTHCARE DESIGN, the annual conference produced by Vendome Healthcare Media and the Center for Health Design. There’s only one problem: It’s too good! There are always too many sessions that I want attend. Ah, the agony of choice. Not such a bad thing, really. And this year, it’s in sunny San Diego. The facility tours are sure to be excellent, and the education sessions look great – below are a few that I hope to attend, and one I’ll be speaking at (“Therapeutic Landscapes for Specific Patient Groups”) with my book co-author, Clare Cooper Marcus.

Earlybird registration is open for another two weeks (ends 8/8), so get on it.
Hope to see you there!

Therapeutic Environments, Neurosciences, and Architecture Forum and Panel Discussion
November 16, 2014 | 1:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Eve Edelstein, MArch, PhD, EDAC, Assoc.,  AIA, F-AAA, Associate Professor, CAPLA + IPW, University of Arizona; Affiliated Research Specialist, Calit2/Qi, University of California, San Diego; President, Innovative Design Science
Lisa Lipschutz, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, Lean Green Belt, Principal, Array Architects
Jon Sell, Principal, Array Architects
Kevin M. Turner, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Freelon Group

This forum will provide a platform for advancing research-enhanced design with emphasis on behavioral and geriatric populations. Discussion will center on best-practice design standards as well as new approaches to care with project-specific examples. The forum will review practical means to apply scientific methods and new technologies within the architectural process. A pragmatic neuro-architectural process will be described that applies evidence-gathering on time, and within budget, to enhance the impact of design on human outcomes. Examples will include architectural projects where research is integrated at each stage of the process including post-occupancy evaluation. New and emerging technologies including immersive CAVE mockups, sound simulations, and synchronous biosensors of brain and body activity will be included.

Natural Visual Stimuli: Creating Positive Birthing Experiences
Monday, November 17 | 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Rehab Aburas, PhD Candidate, Texas Tech University
Debajyoti Pati, PHD, FIIA, IDEC, LEED AP, Rockwell Professor, College of Human Sciences, Department of Design, Texas Tech University
Robert Casanova, MD, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Assistant Dean of Clinical Sciences Curriculum, Associate Professor Obstetrics and Gynecology, Program Director Obstetrics and Gynecology,  Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Nicole Gilinsky Adams, PhD, Graduate Faculty – Educational Psychology, College of Education, Texas Tech University

The birthing experience, and birthing environments, can often paint a woman’s attitude toward healthcare for a long time. Healing environments that incorporate natural visual stimuli can be designed to meet the patient’s need for physical and psychological comfort. Incorporating design elements and strategies that calm and reduce stress effects may create positive experiences for women in labor. This session examines the impact of one such strategy, namely the presentation of a series of nature images, on the labor and delivery experience, with data to support those findings.

Designing Nature into Urban Healthcare Environments
Monday, November 17 | 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Andrew Jarvis, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, EwingCole
David Kamp, FASLA, LF, NA, President, Dirtworks Landscape Architecture, PC

Bringing nature into the experience of patients in urban areas, where most Americans receive their care, is challenging and often opposed. Presenters will share successful strategies for justifying the value of natural environments within densely developed healthcare settings and will show how the obstacles of cost, space, maintenance, and infection control may be overcome. Attendees will hear how such efforts may identify new partners and tie into larger planning and economic initiatives. Given the profound influence of natural environments on health, this session will give you practical tools for designing nature into difficult healthcare spaces.

In the Lap of Nature: Benefits of Nature Stimulus in Patient Room Ceilings
Monday, November 17 | 4:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.

Debajyoti Pati, PHD, FIIA, IDEC, LEED AP, Rockwell Professor, Texas Tech University
Susan Sayari, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing, Covenant Health
Patricia Freier, MSN, RN-BC, RCIS, Project Specialist, Covenant Health
Shabboo Valipoor, MA, Doctoral Student, Texas Tech University

Researchers have consistently produced evidence that exposure to nature can improve health outcomes. This presentation addresses the challenge in providing direct nature views in patient rooms and focuses on one solution where simulated photographic sky compositions are installed in the patient room ceiling. Attendees will hear the key report findings from an experimental study conducted in 10 rooms in a medical-surgical unit (five experimental rooms fitted with ceiling sky compositions and five control) where a range of data was collected from 181 patients in a period of eight months and will explore program areas best suited for incorporation of photographic sky compositions.

Do Curves Matter? An fMRI Examination of Neural Reactions to Formal Attributes of Healthcare Environments
Tuesday, November 18 – 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Debajyoti Pati, PhD, FIIA, IDEC, LEED AP, Rockwell Professor, Texas Tech University, Department of Design, Texas Tech University
Jiancheng Hou, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University
Upali Nanda, PhD, EDAC, Vice President and Director of Research, HKS Inc.
Hessam Ghamari, Research/Teaching Assistant in Department of Design, PhD Candidate, Texas Tech University

This session reports the findings from a neuroscience study that focuses on the brain’s reaction to contour information perceived from the visual environment. Extending previous studies in neuropsychology, the study examines the brain’s amygdala region—the region associated with fear response. This session will present key study findings and discuss its implications for healthcare design from the perspective of fear, anxiety, and stress reduction. Since fear, anxiety, and stress are outcomes of concern to a broad range of stakeholders, this session will be of interest to architects, interior designers, product designers, as well as owners.

Therapeutic Landscapes for Specific Patient Groups
Tuesday, November 18 – 9:20 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Naomi A. Sachs, ASLA, EDAC, Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network
Clare Cooper Marcus, Professor Emerita, Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, Hon. ASLA, Principal, Healing Landscapes

The design of healing gardens and their provision as part of a healthcare facility’s therapeutic environment are receiving an increasing amount of attention and funding. Frequently, however, such gardens are designed as “one size fits all” rather than for the needs of specific users and patient populations. This presentation will explore the importance of understanding why particular patient groups would want to use an outdoor space; how they use it; and in what way the space needs to be designed differently at a patient-specific facility as compared to a facility serving a wide variety of patients (as well as visitors and staff).

Access to Nature, Daylight, and Fresh Air: Staff Break Areas in Healthcare Facilities
Tuesday, November 18 – 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Adeleh Nejati, MArch, EDAC, PhD Candidate and Research Assistant, Texas A&M University
Dr. Mardelle Shepley, DArch, FAIA, FACHA, EDAC, LEED AP, Professor, Department of Architecture, The Skaggs-Sprague Endowed Chair in Health Facilities Design, and Director of the Center for Health Systems & Design, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University

There are exciting new findings about designing health-promoting break areas for nursing staff in healthcare facilities. The focus of this study is to investigate components of a well-designed staff break area and how it can positively impact staff mood and performance by providing restorative environments with access to nature, natural light, and fresh air. It also shows how a well-located break area with appropriate visual and physical access to the outdoor environment can help reduce fatigue, increase productivity, and enhance nurses’ satisfaction with the work environment, which ultimately results in higher quality of care and patient and family satisfaction.