Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 41

The

Center

P E R S O N A L M AT T E R S

I've always known what we do affects millions of
patients and their families. Recently, I was one of
them By Debra Levin

M

Y WORK AT The Center for Health Design has always been very personal for me, guided by a mission to make the world a bit better for patients,
family, and staff through the design of healthcare
spaces that support the delivery of safe and highquality care.
It's now become personal in a different way,
though. I'm writing this column in a neurology
ICU unit in Scottsdale, Ariz., where my mother is being treated after suffering a severe stroke from which she is not likely to recover. I've been here
for days, riding the emotional roller coaster that anyone who has been in an
ICU with a loved one experiences: small victories balanced by devastating
defeats. There's nothing linear about the recovery path from a catastrophic
event, especially when the patient is in her mid-80s.
I've spent hours in her private room, used a nearby consult space to call
into a board of directors meeting, observed the nurses' area when staff
needed to tend to my mother privately, and met
with visitors in the family waiting room where we
I'M SEEING FIRSTHAND
tried to understand what was happening in order
HOW A WELL-DESIGNED
to make the best decision for someone we love.
HEALTHCARE FACILITY
Through all of this, I'm seeing firsthand how a
well-designed healthcare facility can make a very
CAN MAKE A VERY
difficult time a little easier for the family and how
DIFFICULT TIME A LITTLE
staff can leverage the space to provide outstanding care. Here's what has stood out to me.
EASIER FOR FAMILY.
Quiet. One thing that keeps striking me about
this space is how quiet it is for a 40-plus-bed ICU. At a time when anxiety levels are through the roof, there's very little outside noise to further heighten
that stress. The general feeling of calm created provides a sense of confidence that we're in good hands.
Private ICU rooms. In my mother's room, we've got four family members, her hospital bed, and all the equipment needed for her care. Various
additional visitors filter in and out throughout the day along with a bevy of
care team members cycling in and out 24/7. The room has a huge window
that provides an abundance of natural light. Comfortable chairs don't leave

you feeling like you need chiropractic care after
sitting for 12 hours. The design has made it possible for us to be with her and be seen by her without getting in the way of her care team. A large
clock and patient information board has allowed
my mom to keep track of how long she's been
here, which in an odd way has given her some
sense of control in a situation where most of her
autonomy is gone.
Distributed and centralized nurses' stations. This ICU uses a racetrack design, with the
rooms divided into four-pod units that function
independently and diminish the sense that you're
in a large department. Most of my time has been
spent watching and waiting, which has given me
a lot of time to observe and talk with staff. Some
nurses prefer their distributed workstations so
they can keep a close eye on their patients, while
others work from a centralized station where
they can track patient vitals and connect with
their peers. Most bounce back and forth effortlessly, depending on their needs and the acuity of
their patients. By not forcing them into one work
pattern, the caregivers find their own groove in a
space that supports their work habits.
Decompression space. Having a variety of
decompression spaces that allow family members to get away, compose, and even take care of
work helps tremendously. It's important to offer small spaces where individuals can be alone
as well as larger spaces where multiple families
can interact. In one of the family rooms here, I
watched as an elderly woman, already here for
five weeks, showed my almost 90-year-old dad
how to turn one of the chairs into a bed so he
could get some rest.
I've always known that what we do matters and
I'm constantly telling the staff at The Center that
the work they do every day, in some small way,
eases the burden for people they will never meet,
people in highly stressed situations who have lost
some level of control of their lives. This week, I
was one of those people. 
Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for
Health Design. She can be reached at D L E V I N @
H E A LT H D E S I G N . O R G .

Editor's note: Debra Levin's mother, Ada Margolin
Levin, died on Oct. 23 at the age of 86.

DECEMBER 2017

41



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - December 2017

Healthcare Design - December 2017
Contents
Editorial
Show Talk
Natural Wonder
Top 5 Takeaways of 2017
Big Picture
A Fresh Start
Real Estate and Development Learn by Example
Product Spotlight Art and Graphics
The Center
Special Supplement
Face Time
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Healthcare Design - December 2017
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 1
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 2
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Contents
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 4
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 5
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 6
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 7
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 8
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 11
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 12
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Natural Wonder
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 14
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 15
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Top 5 Takeaways of 2017
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 17
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 18
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 19
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Big Picture
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 21
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 22
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 23
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 24
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 25
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 26
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 27
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - A Fresh Start
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 29
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 30
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 31
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 32
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 33
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 34
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 35
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 36
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Real Estate and Development Learn by Example
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 38
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Product Spotlight Art and Graphics
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 40
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - The Center
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 42
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Special Supplement
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 44
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 45
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 46
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 47
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 48
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 49
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 50
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 51
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 52
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 53
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 54
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - 55
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - December 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20200607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20190607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20180607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201308
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com