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Dwight Young

A quick reflection on my passion and career leads me to one phrase to describe myself: 'I like helping people.' That sentiment led me to healthcare design and inspires my internal ethos of bringing the best out of the my team.
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Recent Posts

Designing to Prevent Hospital Acquired Infections

Posted by Dwight Young on Sep 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Recently I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker for a Master-level class at Kent State University’s College of Architectural and Environmental Design. The class was part of their Healthcare Master of Architecture program, and focused on Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) and the physical environment. Over my 20 years of professional practice, 14 of which have been dedicated to healthcare, infection control protocol has become increasingly more important.

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Topics: healthcare design, infection control, hospital acquired infections

Flow Improvement Opportunities For An Inefficient ED

Posted by Dwight Young on Mar 28, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Emergency medicine is in a state of crisis throughout the country due to overcrowding and ever lengthening wait times. Due to the Affordable Care Act, the demand is only expected to increase as health insurance becomes more readily available. The basic operational concept of an Emergency Department (ED) is that the clinical resources are available when needed. It sounds simple enough, but hospital administrators continue to list ED patient flow as one of their primary challenges, so much so that the Institute of Medicine now considers ED crowding a public health concern. Long wait times in reporting EDs have grown twice as much as the increased volume according to the 2012 Annals of Emergency Medicine. Mortality rates in crowded EDs were higher than EDs not perceived as being crowded. Medical and clinical staff response time degrades exponentially as utilization approaches 100%, and common sense aligns with reality in that patient satisfaction decreases linearly as Length of Stay (LOS) times increase. These inefficiencies contribute to a poor work environment, which can lead to adverse patient outcomes.

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Topics: ED, flow improvement

Behavioral Health and Emergency Departments

Posted by Dwight Young on Dec 07, 2015 at 10:52 AM

The US healthcare landscape is ever changing due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Modifications to the law change healthcare delivery and provide access to insurance coverage to a large population of the previously uninsured. One of the largest underserved populations includes those with mental illnesses. In 2013 alone, an estimated 43.8 million US adults (18 or older) had a diagnosed mental illness. Mental illness is a condition in which alterations to thinking, mood or behavior (or a combination thereof) are associated with impaired functioning and/or distress. 

Research shows that mental illnesses can have a strong influence on the occurrence, successful treatment and course of chronic illnesses including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as risk behaviors like physical inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking and obesity (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This leads to an increase in visits to healthcare providers and emergency departments (EDs). According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, many states reduced their mental health spending by $4.35 billion between 2009 and 2012.[1] Due to all the funding cuts, “hospitals are closing psychiatric units, and outpatient services are contracting or closing altogether.”[2]

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Topics: behavioral healthcare, behavioral design