I ran into lots of friends and colleagues at the Healthcare Design conference in Washington, D.C. last week. Many that I've known for more than 20 years.
And, since it's Thanksgiving time in the U.S., I'm feeling grateful for each and every one of the people who have supported and encouraged my work over the years.
Here's five more things the healthcare design industry has to be thankful for:
On the frontline with patients everyday, it's really the nurses who make or break the patient experience. Their contribution to the design of the physical environment is critical to creating healthy workplaces for staff and healing spaces for patients.
Check out the work of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design if you want to know more about how nurses can be leaders in healthcare design.
2. Single Patient Rooms
There are good reasons why patients should not be rooming together in a hospital. Noise and other interruptions from staff and visitors can affect sleep and cause stress that can lead to a need for more pain meds.
There's also increased risk of infection. Some patients (wounded warriors, for example) like the company of a roommate, but most really appreciate having a single room.
3. Healthcare Design Educators
Have you ever met a healthcare design professor that you didn't like? I haven't. These dedicated professionals at schools like Arizona State, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Texas A&M, University of Illinois, and others are doing a great job of preparing the next generation of healthcare architects and interior designers.
If you've ever participated in a design review or seen some of their project concepts at the Healthcare Design conference and Health Facilities Symposium, I'm sure you'll agree that today's graduates are ready to take on the challenges of creating places and spaces that support the best possible care and promote healthy living.
4. The Internet
Even though the Internet and all that has come out of it has created some unnecessary distractions, without it, we would not be able to share and learn so widely from one another. We would not have access to all the great resources on websites like The Center for Health Design, Facility Guidelines Institute, and Research Design Connections. You wouldn't be reading this blog, either.
5. Healthcare Product Manufacturers
Without the support of the product manufacturers in our industry, many nonprofit organizations that serve healthcare design professionals would not exist. Product manufacturers fund research and publications, host events, sponsor speakers, provide scholarships to students -- and so much more. And many of these companies are led by individuals who are just as passionate about improving the quality of healthcare as the rest of us.
What are you thankful for in the healthcare design industry?
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