Institute for Patient-Centered Design

Patient-Centered Design Online

Publication of Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc.

December, 2012, Issue 23
In This Issue
The Patient Experience Simulation Lab
Advice from Our Star Patient
The Mom-Friendly Network
Calendar of Events
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links




Thank you for your participation in our activities this year.  Whether by email, discussion groups or live events, we appreciate your interest and support of the Institute's work.  It has been a pleasure to serve you. 

As we look ahead to a new year, we are very excited about this year's accomplishments and the opportunities to expand our reach in 2013. 

In our feature article below, you may read in detail about our Patient Experience Simulation Lab, which was the first of its kind introduced at the 2012 HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference in Phoenix.  We have also included an update on our Lactation Design/Mom Friendly program, which received a grant in 2012; and will expand to offer free webinars in 2013.

We invite you to learn more about both programs and contact us if you are interested in joining us on our mission to contribute to the quality of healthcare delivery through patient-centered design advocacy, education and research, which includes community engagement and new design solutions for health facilities.
We look forward to another great year with your support!
Tammy Thompson 



Tammy S. Thompson, CLC, NCARB, EDAC

President, Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc.


The Patient Experience Simulation Lab at HCD.12:  

Enlightening practitioners and giving back to local patients


Written by Elizabeth S. Jones


2012 Patient Experience Simulation Lab in Progress
The 2012 HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference was a huge success, especially for Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc.  The Patient Experience Simulation Lab was unveiled at this year's conference, and what an experience it was!  Some participants described the unique workshop as "a wonderful experience" and "a great way to see the family as participants in the design process." Still others considered it the best conference workshop that they have ever attended!


The Institute's roundtable discussion at HEALTHCARE DESIGN 2011 on patient empowerment inspired the team and became a springboard for bringing the patient experience to reality.  Ultimately, the goal was to establish a better understanding of the need for patient-centered design by developing an interactive workshop that would allow participants to move about and experience the role of the end user in a full scale model of an inpatient room. 


This model was inspired by the winning design of the 2012 Patient Empowered Room design competition, created by a team from Kahler Slater.  Its design focused on facilitating the healing process, accommodating family, and addressing patient privacy while allowing the patient more control of the room from the bed.


Each of the 23 interactive sessions during this year's conference included input from local Arizona residents who were able to provide personalized feedback at the design table, from the perspective of the patient or family member.  This experience allowed design professionals the opportunity to become immersed in an open dialogue from the end user's point of view, without constraints that practitioners often face when speaking with patients and families in standard practice.  Participants were invited to take this experience even further by actually wearing a gown and playing the role of a patient in the patient bed.  This allowed all workshop attendees a fun and interactive opportunity to learn through a serious discussion on the design topics raised.


One of our valued family participants, Nannette Salasek, represented Raising Special Kids, an organization of families helping families of children with disabilities.  Nannette, a Family Support Specialist with the Phoenix based organization is the mother of 6 children.  She and her husband, Ched both assisted greatly in the Simulation Lab, as they presented the patient and family perspective during the workshops. 


The Salasek Family
The Salasek Family

Nine years ago, their daughter Annie was born with   Spina Bifida, their next daughter; Lillian was later diagnosed with ADHD and Sensory Integration Issues. Additionally, their youngest daughter was born with Intestinal Mal Rotation. 


The Salasek family is very familiar with the hospital experience. Nannette and Ched both offered valuable insight on the need for healthcare design that is empowering for the patient.  Nannette also serves on the Family Advisory Council at Phoenix Children's Hospital and recalls that one of the most memorable experiences during her service to the Council is when she was asked to tryout different chairs that the hospital was preparing to purchase for the inpatient rooms.  She explains how important it is to have a voice in the design of an inpatient room because "you don't know what it's like until you experience it." Salasek is a strong advocate for Patient and Family-Centered Care and explains that it is one of her biggest passions.  She believes that patient empowerment is important because "their experiences are better and they heal better," when patients are empowered. 


Raising Special Kids has helped over 10,000 parents and professionals benefit from mentoring, special education training, health care information, parent leadership and family advocacy, all at no cost to families.  


The Institute was proud to support the work of Raising Special Kids by accepting their offer to place medical supplies and equipment donated by project sponsor Medline in a deserving health facility. Items such as a wheelchair, IV pole, sharps disposal container, blood pressure machine and others were donated to Phoenix Children's Hospital.  According to Salasek, the equipment was immediately put to use.


Patient Empowered Room
2012 Patient Empowered Room featuring "WOW" (window) Wall

Because this event was held in a typical conference room, natural light was unavailable.  Fortunately, project sponsor Vertical Visions stepped in.  Vertical Visions uses LED lighting to backlight artistic prints, in order to create beautiful custom panels.  For the simulation lab, they provided a backlit panel system, which simulated the exterior view from the patient room.  The "WOW" Wall product included a beautiful nature scene provided by Sandra Breeding Healing Art, the project's fine art photography sponsor.  The two companies together produced a realistic window wall that enhanced the simulation lab experience.  


After the Conference, Vertical Visions' managing member, Glen Turpening donated the "WOW" Wall equipment for use in a local health facility.   Organized by Raising Special Kids, the "WOW" Wall used in the Patient Experience Simulation Lab will find a new home at a Phoenix area healthcare facility for children with disabilities.


When asked about the inspiration for his contributions to this project, Turpening explained that the vision for his company was found while he traveled extensively in Europe, capturing amazing photos.  It was during a subsequent medical visit that he identified a need for calming artwork.  From there, Vertical Visions established its "natural market" in healthcare facilities.  Vertical Visions products can be found not only in healthcare facilities, but also in residential and commercial environments.  After witnessing the profound impact of the Patient Experience Simulation Lab, enhanced by its extraordinary team of local patient and family members,Turpening desired to donate his product to be enjoyed by patients and their families in the Phoenix area.


With the assistance of valued partners, sponsors, volunteers, patients and family advocates, the Institute carefully crafted a workshop that was well appreciated by attendees, while leaving an impact on the local patient and family population in Phoenix.  According to founder Tammy Thompson, "we are very proud of this work, and eager to share it with the profession."  In addition to a free webinar series planned for 2013, the Institute's team is already working on the next project, which promises to leave a similar impression in Orlando for the 2013 HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference.


For more information on these events, and to learn how to become involved in our project for 2013, please visit



The Patient Experience Simulation Lab was made possible by



Advice from our Star Patient 

Last month, during the HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference, when we held the first Patient experience simulation lab in Phoenix, we received a wealth of information from our patient and family participants.  This issue will highlight one of the topics discussed.  For more information on patient concerns, please join our mailing list and receive invitations to attend our free webinar series coming in 2013.

During the lab, we compared the design of two nurse charting areas to demonstrate the importance of a bedside space that enables the caregiver to maintain eye contact with the patient while charting.  Patient participant Keith Schrader shared a personal experience with the group on how this design detail could impact hearing impaired patients, like himself. 
Please listen below to his perspective. 

2012 Patient Experience Simulation Lab -- Patient-led discussion
2012 Patient Experience Simulation Lab -- Patient-led discussion
Lactation Design/Mom-Friendly Network Project Update
Lactation Design
This year, we worked with with DeKalb Office, a local Steelcase dealer on developing solutions for lactation rooms in the workplace.  In addition, we continue to promote better lactation support in healthcare facilities through strategic design.  We presented our work to the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), and the United States Breastfeeding Committee this year. 

The Mom Friendly Network, a special outreach project that enables us to engage mothers directly, was created this year from the Lactation Design program.  This network encourages employers to become compliant with the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which requires a private space, other than a bathroom, for employees to express breast milk in the workplace.  This Network has received great interest.  We are proud to announce that as a result of our work this year with mothers and babies, we received the 2012 March of Dimes Community Award from the Georgia Chapter.  This grant allows us to expand our Mom Friendly Network to reach more mothers in the metropolitan Atlanta Community.  We are very excited about the impact that we anticipate this Network will make on breastfeeding rates.  For more information, please visit  To download our press release, click here.

Corporate Collaborator Membership Program
IdeasBy popular demand, we have reopened our membership program.  The Corporate Collaborator Membership Program is open to hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit firms or vendors. 

If you are interested in registering your hospital facility or nonprofit organization for a free membership in our Corporate Collaborator Membership Program, please visit  

For-profit companies have the opportunity to make a tax deductible donation to the Institute to support our programs, with donor recognition benefits.  For more information, please visit

In lieu of individual membership, individuals interested in membership are invited to join our mailing list for project updates and free continuing education opportunities throughout the year!
Calendar of Events
Tuesday, January 8, 2013;  2:00 - 3:30 pm Eastern
Healthcare Essentials: Joint Commission and Facility Design - a winning partnership for patient safety and quality care

January 17, 2013; 11:30 - 1:30 pm
"Building the Hospital of Tomorrow:Rehabilitate, Renovate or Replace/Evidence Based Design, a joint presentation with the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health of Georgia
Atlanta, GA  

Friday, January 25, 2013
Call for Submissions Deadline - 2013 HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference
Orlando, FL  

April 6 - 9, 2013
Environments for Aging Conference
New Orleans, LA  

April 15-18, 2013 
Moving Forward with Patient- and Family-Centered Care:  An Intensive Training Seminar
Annapolis, MD

November 16-19, 2013


Gaylord Palms, Orlando, FL


As a courtesy to our readers, we have listed information about upcoming events and links to related websites for more details. This does not necessarily constitute a relationship between Institute for Patient-Centered Design and any of the websites, events or organizations listed. Nor does this represent an endorsement or guarantee of any kind. While we strive to keep such information updated, we make no legal or otherwise binding commitment to do so. We do not guarantee any of the information on the websites listed. Nor do we guarantee the events themselves.

Thank you for supporting Institute for Patient-Centered Design!

The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute for Patient-Centered Design, Inc. We respect the rights of patients, family members and professionals to express their opinions and welcome comments on the topics published in this newsletter. We reserve the right to edit and publish comments and letters at our discretion.


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