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Converting a Med/Surg Unit to Suit Behavioral Health Standards

Posted by Jon Sell on Jan 20, 2017 at 3:04 PM

As part of a multi-site Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI) for Mercy Health, Array converted a shuttered med/surg floor at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky. This project was not without the inherent challenges of making a non-behavioral health space compliant, safe and comfortable for patients and staff. What made it rewarding was the cooperative effort of the design team to make this renovated space as ideal a setting as the other BHI endeavors for Mercy (Batavia and Oregon, OH), which included new construction and a larger footprint.

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Topics: patient environment, case study, behavioral design

Connecting Experience, Behavior and Strategy: Part 1

Posted by Kent Doss on Aug 24, 2016 at 4:00 PM

One of the most challenging tasks that architects face is how to convey design intent in a way that transcends aesthetics (which can be deeply personal and sometimes divisive) by describing the measurable, operational value (which is uniting and helps drive project progress) that good design can achieve. The project clarity and vision that we can create through our collaborative, Lean-led planning process can be at risk if we can’t equally communicate the reasons why specific design strategies are critical to project performance.

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Topics: evidence based design, patient experience, behavioral design

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