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First Comprehensive Reference on Evidence-Based Design Published
Date:6/4/2008

Malkin ties building design to improved outcomes

CONCORD, Calif., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jain Malkin, a healthcare interior architect and pioneer in the field of evidence-based design, draws on extensive research in her new book, "A Visual Reference for Evidence-Based Design," to build the case that scientifically-proven design principles can enhance the patient experience and significantly increase patient safety.

Published by The Center for Health Design (CHD) with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the book is well-timed as acute care hospitals throughout the United States are in major construction mode - to the tune of $41 billion in reported new building and renovation projects YE 2007.* CHD, a research and advocacy organization of 40,000 healthcare and design professionals and a strong proponent of evidence-based design (EBD), spearheaded the project. EBD is defined as the application of principles and building features that have demonstrated scientifically they can improve patient outcomes -- a better, safer hospital experience. As evidence-based medicine guides clinicians, EBD is the operating guideline in designing, building, and furnishing 21st century hospitals and clinics.

"Because first impressions are important, it's understandable that we often encounter appealing hospital lobbies -- water features, gardens and music, cozy fireplaces and exquisite art," states Malkin. "It's the patient rooms and treatment areas that suffer, yet research tells us clearly that reducing patients' stress can improve their immune response."

In each chapter Malkin demonstrates how proven building design features can improve patient care, safety, infection control, immune response, staff productivity and satisfaction. The chapter on hospital-acquired infections is particularly notable given the media coverage over the last year of the alarming rate of drug-resistant infections -- an estimated 85 percent of staph infections have been linked to hospital stays. Malkin discusses the characteristics of pathogens and how infections spread and what implications these have for design professionals. She cites studies indicating that infection rates are lower in properly designed and ventilated private rooms as compared to multi-bed rooms and that medication errors are reduced. Fewer infections, fewer medication errors translate into shorter length of stay and lower costs. And, while the focus of the book is primarily on what benefits patients and their family members, there's evidence that caregivers perform better in an environment that relieves stress.

Attention is given to the ways in which lighting, ceiling, acoustics, views of the natural landscape and artwork can enhance the patient experience. Included, too, are analyses of lobby design, waiting areas, patient units, patient and family amenities, and to a lesser extent on caregiver lounges, diagnostic centers, and treatment areas for cancer. Appearing in case study format are innovative facilities that illustrate a new path in their design approach. Over 300 color photos and planning layouts accompanied by insightful commentary illustrate EBD projects at more than 70 facilities throughout the U.S., including Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, NY; Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NYC; Abbott Northwestern Heart Hospital, Minneapolis, MN; Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; and Scripps Memorial Hospital, LaJolla, CA.

To order A Visual Reference for Evidence-Based Design online, visit http://www.healthdesign.org/book or call The Center for Health Design at 925.521.8404 weekdays 8:30-5 PDT.

*Source: Healthcare Facilities Management, 2008 Building Report, Feb. 2008.

With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, A Visual Reference for Evidence Based Design was published by the Center for Health Design, a leading research and advocacy organization of forward-thinking healthcare and design professionals committed to improving the quality of healthcare through building architecture and design.

The Center's mission is to transform healthcare settings - including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and nursing homes - into healing environments that contribute to health and improve outcomes through the creative use of evidence-based design.


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SOURCE The Center For Health Design
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