My name is Gayle Anthony and I'm a healthcare facility planner living just south of Memphis, Tenn. I would like to thank the editorial staff of Behavioral Healthcare magazine for providing this wonderful opportunity to discuss and explore ways that innovative design strategies can provide therapeutic environments which will promote healing, improve patient outcomes and organizational efficiencies.
There are lots of "buzz words" out there: lean, green, evidence-based design, environment of care, patient-centered care ... design concepts that can be applied directly to behavioral healthcare settings in many positive ways.
Working directly with clients to understand and interpret their unique concerns for safety, privacy, durability and visibility in an environment that is functional, efficient, sustainable and attractive is challenging and rewarding. In behavioral healthcare facility design it is very important to consider the impact of the physical environment on a patient’s emotional, mental and physical state.
From providing access to daylight and views of nature to the orientation of staff work areas, numerous opportunities exist to enhance a patient’s well-being in a secure setting. The successful end result should always be the creation of a therapeutic environment which will promote healing and foster interaction.
This "Blog Wall" provides an excellent forum for exploring opportunities to creatively connect these spatial design concepts with clinical operations. I'm optimistic that reader response, feedback and dialogue will foster the exchange of ideas for enhancing the physical environment while improving patient clinical outcomes.