The physical environment has a significant impact on health and safety; however, hospitals have not been designed with the explicit goal of enhancing patient safety through facility design. In April 2002, St Joseph’s Community Hospital of West Bend, a member of SynergyHealth, brought together leaders in healthcare and systems engineering to develop a set of safety-driven facility design recommendations and principles that would guide the design of a new hospital facility focused on patient safety. By introducing safety-driven innovations into the facility design process, environmental designers and healthcare leaders will be able to make significant contributions to patient safety.
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John Reiling is former President/CEO of SynergyHealth, St Joseph’s Hospital, current Principal Investigator for the AHRQ Grant and current President/CEO of Safe by Design.