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HER Summit Post-Summit HER Forum Resources

Healthcare Environments Research
Developing the Research Roadmap


"The hospital is a human invention and as such can be reinvented any time."

Leland R. Kaiser, Ph.D

The US is starting one of the largest hospital buildings booms in its history, with a projected $200B or more in new hospital construction over the next 10 years, shaping US healthcare for decades. At the same time, healthcare organizations are seeking to transform themselves: provide higher quality care, become safer, become more efficient and provide better experiences for patients, families and staff alike.

A growing body of rigorous scientific research* demonstrates that the appropriate design of the built environment is an important tool in this transformation of healthcare. However, while healthcare environments research is rapidly expanding, it is scattered, idiosyncratic and opportunistic. It has not yet developed an active community of researchers or the translational mechanisms needed to generate or apply the research necessary to support this massive building program.

This effort assembles key stakeholders-researchers, healthcare providers, professional organizations, designers, academicians, philanthropy-to develop a roadmap for support of this field so that it serves the needs of building and operating healthcare facilities of the 21st Century.

The first step, Healthcare Environments Research Summit 2006: Developing the Research Roadmap, assembles 50 senior thought leaders February 8-9, 2006 to explore three questions:

1. High-priority research directions: What are key research topics and directions relevant to policy, design and facility management?

2. Pipeline: What is the current state of the "pipeline" from research to application:
the research infrastructure and community;
translational mechanisms;
support for application in design, facility management and regulation;
support for researcher-end user communication?

3. Call to action: What are some short-term and mid-term actions where strategic partnerships between philanthropy, researchers, academia, designers, healthcare providers and professional organizations might make a significant difference?

* From "The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century" by Roger Ulrich and Craig Zimring (2004). Published by The Center for Health Design with funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read full article