Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 16


C THE CENTER | 12.15
Blurred lines

Technology is increasingly allowing us to engage in healthcare without
actively having to seek it out. So what role might the built environment play
in influencing our health choices?
By Debra Levin
At a recent meeting of the Built Environment
Network (BEN), member Don Orndoff, senior
vice president of Kaiser Permanente National
Facilities Services, talked about the softening
of the boundary between when we're receiving
healthcare and when we're just living our lives.
The visual of that concept, the blurring of that
line, resonated with me.
In the past, healthcare has been something
we actively pursued. It meant physically going
to a healthcare facility. Today, technology allows
us more and more to connect with a caregiver
by logging on to a computer or using a smart
device. In the future, observing, tracking, and
communicating our health stats isn't likely to
require any activity on our part at all. The devices
we wear or carry and the environment around us
will all monitor our health passively, adding to the
blurring of that line between seeking care and
living life.
So much of the quality of our health is tied to
the decisions we make every day about how we
live our lives. How do we manage and handle
stress? How often do we get out and experience
nature and sunlight? Do we surround ourselves
with caring friends and people with a positive
outlook on life? Do we live an active life and
incorporate some form of exercise into our daily
routines? Do we make healthy food choices and
provide our bodies with the best fuel sources?
Without question, our genetic makeup and
even an element of luck play a significant role
in our health, but as much as 90 percent of the
quality of our health is tied to our daily behaviors.
The connection between the design of physical
environments and an individual's choices might
not be as obvious, but in many industries this
connection is well documented and often even
exploited.
The most obvious example of this is in retail
spaces where the design of the physical environment is frequently used to significantly impact
the behaviors and choices of consumers. What
we purchase, how much we purchase, and
even why we purchase a specific item is often a
direct response to subtle cues designed into the
environment.
16

HCDmagazine.com 12.15

In their book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness,
economist Richard Thaler and Harvard law
professor Cass Sunstein talk about "choice
architecture," or the context in which we all
make decisions, and how different environments might nudge us into making a
particular choice or changing a specific
behavior.

All design professionals, regardless of the
types of environments they're creating, are
becoming healthcare designers.
As we design our communities, homes,
schools, and workplaces, we have the
opportunity to use design as a tool to
help guide people into new behaviors that
support a healthy lifestyle. And in doing
so, all design professionals, regardless of
the types of environments they're creating,
become healthcare designers.
The consensus among many is that it's
still murky-what healthcare and our healthcare systems will look like in the years and
decades to come. Until there's clarity, it's
hard to know which designs will have longlasting value. Physical buildings will always
be a piece of the equation, but the scale and
role of those buildings will morph into many
new permutations of what we have today.
What we do know is that the focus on
health and wellness won't go away. It will
be the sustainable healthcare system's foundation, as it has the best potential to bend
the cost curve and has the added benefit
of providing a higher quality of life for all
people. HCD
Debra Levin is the president and CEO of
The Center for Health Design. She can be
reached at dlevin@healthdesign.org.

Debra Levin


http://www.HCDmagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - December 2015

Healthcare Design - December 2015
Contents
HCDmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Monitor
The Center
The Inside Story
Hitting the Mark
View From the Top
Echoing the Landscape
Master Class
Research
Special Supplement: 2015 Remodel/Renovation Competition
Remodel/renovation Competition
Special Advertising Section: Remodel/Renovation Directory
Special Supplement: 2015 Product Innovation Awards
Product Innovation Awards
Special Advertising Section: Product Innovation Gallery
First Look
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Healthcare Design - December 2015
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 1
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Contents
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 3
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - HCDmagazine.com
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 5
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 7
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 9
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Monitor
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 11
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 12
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 13
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 14
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 15
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - The Center
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 17
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - The Inside Story
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 19
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 20
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 21
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 22
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 23
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 24
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 25
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Hitting the Mark
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 27
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 28
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 29
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 30
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 31
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - View From the Top
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 33
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 34
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 35
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 36
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 37
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Echoing the Landscape
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 39
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 40
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 41
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 42
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 43
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Master Class
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 45
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 46
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 47
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 48
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 49
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Research
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 51
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 52
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Special Supplement: 2015 Remodel/Renovation Competition
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Remodel/renovation Competition
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 55
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 56
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 57
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 58
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 59
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 60
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 61
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 62
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 63
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Special Advertising Section: Remodel/Renovation Directory
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 65
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 66
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 67
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 68
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 69
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 70
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 71
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 72
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 73
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 74
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Special Supplement: 2015 Product Innovation Awards
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Product Innovation Awards
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 77
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 78
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Special Advertising Section: Product Innovation Gallery
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 80
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 81
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 82
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 83
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 84
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 85
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 86
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - 87
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - First Look
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - December 2015 - Cover4
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