Healthcare Design - January/February 2016 - 24
C THE CENTER | 02.16
What keeps you up at night?
Attendees of the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference weighed in on the
topics top of mind for them right now, shedding light on shifting priorities
compared to last year By Debra Levin
The results are in! Each year at the Healthcare
Design Expo & Conference, The Center for
Health Design conducts a very informal survey
to discover the topics that are top of mind for
attendees. Prior to the show, The Center's
staff narrows down a potential list of topics to
24 general themes that we've been tracking
throughout the year.
Then, during the event's four days, we provide
each attendee who visits our expo floor booth
with three wooden tongue depressors for voting.
Different colors are used to track the results of
those who identify as either design professionals,
healthcare professionals, or product vendors, allowing us to see if there's a difference in priorities
among the three.
Participants vote by dropping their sticks in
buckets labeled by those predetermined topics or
by writing a new topic on the stick and placing it
into a bucket for additional thoughts and ideas.
At the November 2015 show, we collected votes
from about 200 attendees and saw results shift a
bit from 2014. For example, in 2014, the top three
key issues attendees were concerned with were
"the impact of technology on facility design," "the
impact of an aging population on facility design,"
and "redesigning the care process." In 2015, the
issue that received the highest number of votes
overall from both the healthcare and design communities (and was of high interest to the vendor
community, as well) was "the impact of design
on staff satisfaction and well-being," a topic that
landed in the middle of the pack in 2014.
Of next highest interest to 2015 attendees were
two topics: "the impact of medical technologies
on design" and "the impact of design on infection
control and prevention" (ranking fourth in 2014).
Rounding out the third place spot in 2015 was
the issue of sustainable design, a topic not surveyed in the previous year.
Some new issues made their way into the mix
as write-in candidates, including several votes
concerning behavioral health issues. Attendees
asked specifically about behavioral health in
acute care settings and in pediatric settings. Not
surprisingly, there was still very strong interest
in outpatient settings and on research projects
specific to those settings.
Other write-in categories concerned more
practical issues, such as how to fix an aging
facility infrastructure and understanding how
to build the right amount of space for utilization needs. Tying back to the number one
topic of interest, one attendee wanted to better
understand the impact of constant construction on HCAHPS scores and staff satisfaction/
The issue that received the highest number
of votes overall was "the impact of design on
staff satisfaction and well-being."
It's interesting to note the bottom two votegenerators of 2014, "staff safety" and "decreasing patient volumes," had some alignment with
those seen in 2015, "the impact of decreasing
patient volumes on design" and "supporting resident/patient-centered medical home models."
We hope these issues are also the ones that
you're spending time thinking about and would
like solutions to. At The Center, we plan to use
this information in part to help inform our work
in 2016 and beyond. As we develop new toolbox
topics and resources found on our website,
we'll look to them to find innovative new case
studies, design strategies, lessons learned, and
expert insight to add.
We welcome your thoughts on these survey
results as well as other topics that keep you up
at night. HCD
Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center
for Health Design. She can be reached at dlevin@