Did we forget about the stage? The role of the environment in transforming health care

Upali Nanda unanda@hksinc.com
Jeff Stouffer jstouffer@hksinc.com
Monika Wittig wittig@stanford.edu
Bon Ku bon.ku@jefferson.edu

Abstract

Health care is complex. It is changing constantly. To keep up we focus on people, process, policy and technology. If we think about any health care delivery scenario as a play – a fast-paced, rapidly-changing play – and use the theater analogy – this implies that we think a lot about our actors (patient as the central character – all medical staff as supporting cast), the script (the care process and human interactions), the direction (overarching policies and care models), and the props (devices/equipments/interfaces). But what about the stage on which this happens? Why is there such little discussion about the environments in which we deliver care?

The built environment can be a passive hindrance or an active catalyst to transforming health care. It can be your best friend and your worst enemy in reshaping paradigms. In this panel, we will discuss how the stage on which health care is delivered can significantly alter the experience and efficacy of care.
The panel will consist of a surgeon, an emergency physician, a designer, a researcher, and an architect.

Dr. Upali Nanda, Director of research for a global architecture firm will moderate this panel and kick it off with some stories of how hospitals are often sick buildings and evidence on how the built environment has been known to have a measurable impact on health outcomes. Place Matters. She will then introduce the panel which will share their own insights into the staging of health care via design of better places.

Dr. Andrew Ibrahim, a surgeon, will share his journey about bringing design thinking to his surgeries and completely re-thinking the Operating Room to allow transformation in surgical care.

Dr. Bon Ku will share how he has brought design thinking to medical education, and to the larger medical community in general. He will focus on his explorations around place and design – and why it is untapped potential for us to explore.

Jeff Stouffer, a veteran health care architect will share the impact of a maternity hospital in Africa and simple tenets of good design. He will then share how participative design through full-scale mocks ups and scenario planning can change our fundamental assumptions about designing health care spaces.

Finally, Monika Witting, a design thinker, innovator and architect, will share her insights on where place meets product and technology and the work at InWORKS to bring these scales together.

Each panelist will do a blitz presentation of 5-7 minutes. The panel will then discuss how the stage of health care delivery- AKA the built environments, needs to respond to health challenges, and create health opportunities that we never saw before. 
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