Highlighting the latest health design trends with Healthcare Brew

The University of Colorado, The Hub

December 8, 2023

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Mike Pukszta and Abbie Clary, CannonDesign's Health Practice Directors, gave perspectives on the latest in hospital security, employee collaboration and respite spaces.

Healthcare Brew, which covers the latest healthcare news and tech for administrators and providers, featured Mike and Abbie in two pieces that highlight design strategies to support healthcare workers and non-institutional ways to increase safety.

Retaining and supporting staff are a priority for healthcare organizations across the country, as many hospitals face staffing shortages. Design can positively affect staff by providing not only warm and welcoming respite spaces, but also providing ample spaces for all members of a patient's healthcare team to collaborate.

"[It’s] understanding what ‘respite’ means and what really does that for you: Not a break room with lockers where people are coming in to go to work and you’re trying to get yourself together,” Abbie told Healthcare Brew. “Being very intentional around spaces that have access to nature. Maybe they can’t go outside, but nature is culturally inclusive. Having spaces that can be programmable—that I could make it the environment I need for that moment, has access to nature—and being really, really purposeful.”

These strategies were implemented as University of Colorado-Anschutz, an academic medical campus where The Hub provides spaces for clinicians to unwind or do non-patient work often don’t allow for quiet focus or separation from clinical duties. There are private alcoves for rest or meeting rooms for collaborative activities.

Hospital security for patients and staff alike are also a big priority for newly built and existing healthcare facilities. But making the measures and strategies as unobtrusive as possible is also key to keep spaces from feeling too institutional.

Mike noted that "solutions could be as simple as adding more windows or access to natural spaces at a facility—things that some studies have linked to decreased violence."

“We can actually be proactive and create an environment that doesn’t have characteristics that are going to increase aggressive behavior or those tendencies,” he told Healthcare Brew.