As I was driving the other day, I saw a momma duck hustling her babies across a very busy intersection in my city. Not sure how she found herself surrounded by asphalt instead of water, but she seemed to have a plan.
Anyway, it made me think of the evidence-based design process and how important it is to have a plan in place to get the best possible results. Just in case you've forgotten, here are the eight steps in the evidence-based design process that were developed by The Center for Health Design for its EDAC certification program:
- Define EBD goals and objectives
- Find relevant sources of evidence
- Critically interpret relevant evidence
- Create and innovate EBD concepts
- Develop a hypothesis
- Collect baseline performance measures
- Monitor implementation of EBD concepts during design and construction
- Measure post-occupancy performance results
I'd also add a ninth step, which is to publish and share results. Because this process was only defined several years ago, not many healthcare organizations have had the opportunity to complete all eight steps for a new building project yet.
In fact, many hospital executives and their project teams still don't have a good understanding of what evidence-based design is. They make the mistake of thinking that it's prescriptive rather than a fluid process that is part of the five phases of a typical building project: organizational readiness, pre-design, design, construction, and occupancy.
Sure, you can do only some of these steps in the evidence-based design process. In fact, I think many healthcare organizations that are planning new building projects would like to think they are doing Steps 1-4. If they know what they are.
Is it up to the designers to bring this knowledge to the table? You bet. But, it's also up to hospital executives and managers to become educated about evidence-based design so they can make informed decisions that will lead to better outcomes. Like the momma duck, they should be planning how they are going to get to where they want to be.
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