With demand increasing for behavioral healthcare services and reimbursement models pushing harder toward integrated care, more systems are turning toward comprehensive care settings. Behavioral Healthcare magazine recently focused on key design trends that respond to this shift and asked Tim Rommel and Elisabeth Perreault from our team to share their expertise.

The full article can be read online here.

Below are key excerpts:

Rommel on Integration

“For a long time, behavioral healthcare has sort of lived in stand-alone, separate facilities, but most patients have co-occurring disorders. So the integration with medical and physical healthcare is helping staff be much more effective.”

Perreault on Comprehensive Care

“Organizations have also turned their focus to expanding behavioral healthcare programs and inpatient capacity for children and adolescents in response to growing needs within communities.”

Rommel on Flexibility

“(Rommel) also emphasizes flexibility as well as expandability. He specifically advises dividing up floor plans into different zones or areas by purpose. For example, create a daytime zone dedicated to patient interaction areas such as a kitchen and lounge; a nighttime zone for residential spaces that might include shared and private bedrooms; and a separate clinical zone.

Perreault on Open Care Stations

“Most healthcare providers are moving to mobile tablet charting and encouraging an environment that allows the care providers to be on the unit interacting with their patients rather than sitting behind a care desk monitoring their patients. Care desks and nurses stations do not need to be as large as they used to be and really only need to support one or possibly two staff members passively monitoring the unit in the evening while patients are sleeping.”

The article also focused on trends in safety, trauma-informed care, access to natural light and other key design trends. CannonDesign has recently worked on behavioral health facilities with the University of Arizona, UnityPoint Health Trinity and VCU Medical.

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