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View Finder: MarinHealth Medical Center

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Marin County offers a spectacular natural setting that has long lured city dwellers seeking more space and a direct connection to nature. Marin’s district hospital, MarinHealth Medical Center (formerly Marin General) in Greenbrae, Calif., benefits from those exceptional surroundings with views of Mount Tamalpais, the county’s highest peak; Corte Madera Creek; and an adjacent 27-acre park.

When it came time to address California’s 2030 earthquake-compliance standards, the healthcare organization decided to replace its outdated hospital with a new 265,000-square-foot facility called Oak Pavilion, relocating the majority of the hospital’s essential services and inpatient beds here while still connecting to some of existing campus buildings. The new acute care facility would be designed to improve and enhance the patient and staff experience through larger rooms, modern material and color palettes, and clinical spaces designed to accommodate new technology and treatments, all while … Read the rest

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Healthcare Design Has A Gender Issue

When I was a young professional working in healthcare design, I vividly recall taking conference calls from inside a closet so my clients couldn’t hear my children’s voices from across the room. This was the early 1990s, a time when the thinking on women at work was very cut and dry: Women were either a full-time employee or a stay-at-home parent.  But I had rejected the either/or options and created my own hybrid solution, setting up my own studio in my home and working directly with clients as part of a collaborative team with other independent consultants. This approach gave me a flexible schedule to balance parenting while keeping my career development intact. Still, I couldn’t let clients know I was working at home without it having potential negative implications for my career.

Several decades later, the pandemic has, in some ways, accelerated a shift in our tolerance for working … Read the rest

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Study: Social media and general tech engagement not found to “fry” teenagers’ brains

Little to no increase in association between adolescents’ mental health problems and digital tech (Science Daily):

With the explosion in digital entertainment options over the past several decades and the more recent restrictions on outdoor and in-person social activities, parents may worry that excessive engagement with digital technology could have long-term effects on their children’s mental health.

A new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, however, found little evidence for an increased association between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health problems over the past 30 years. The data did not consistently support the suggestion that the technologies we worry about most (e.g., smartphones) are becoming more harmful…

“If we want to understand the relationship between tech and well-being today, we need to first go back and look at historic data — as far back as when parents were concerned too much TV would give their kids square eyes

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The Heart Of It All

A lot of boxes need to be ticked when we’re choosing locations for the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference year after year: the right-sized venue, easy travel options, hotel variety, temperate weather, potential for facility tours.

And when you look at Cleveland against that list, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t held the show there until now.

Cleveland Clinic—the No. 2 hospital system in the country per U.S. News & World Report—is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s just the beginning. University Hospitals and The MetroHealth System are two other major healthcare systems in the city, and all three have interesting and innovative projects in the works. Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor (HTC), launched in 2010, is a 1,600-acre area catering to biomedical, healthcare, and technology companies, with a turbocharged infrastructure and access to entrepreneurial support services, venture capital funding, thought leadership from nearby academics and … Read the rest

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Study: Higher mental wellbeing (in 2016) seen to lower healthcare costs (in 2017)

There are many reasons why mental wellbeing is important. Not only is it protective against physical illnesses and linked to greater productivity, but the mental wellbeing of a population is essential for a country’s sustainability, long-term growth and development.

But despite the clear benefits, governments tend to focus public spending on treating and preventing disease, and providing care for those who are ill. While this is important and should continue to be prioritised, such strategies alone won’t increase levels of mental wellbeing overall.

Not only would enhancing mental wellbeing across all segments of the population lead to better health on average, it would also be beneficial from an economic perspective.

In our latest study, we explored the link between mental wellbeing and government expenditure. We found that each increase in mental wellbeing in a population was associated with lower health and social care costs the following year. In other words, … Read the rest

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Natural Connection

One of the many things that has helped keep me sane and grounded this past year has been religiously getting out of the house and spending time in nature. Thankfully, because I live in California, I have the benefit of sunny and inviting weather most of the year. I’m also fortunate to live in a neighborhood connected to a 6,000-acre regional park, making it easy and convenient to go for short walks or long hikes in the hills. And a 30-inch-deep, blow-up pool I purchased online at the start of the COVID-19 quarantine allowed me to float away the weekends all summer long. I haven’t spent so much time outdoors since I was a kid. During these times, I frequently find myself reciting a favorite quote from biologist and author Rachel Carson: “There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and … Read the rest

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Cumulus Neuroscience raises $8.3M to develop EEG-based wireless ‘Fitbit for the brain’

Belfast-based Cumulus raises €6.9m for its ‘Fitbit for the brain’ (The Irish Times):

… Formerly known as BrainWaveBank, the company has developed a wireless electroencephalogram (EEG) headset and proprietary software platform that use advanced analytics and machine learning to measure cognitive fitness.

“This funding will allow us to build on the ground-breaking advances we have made in remote, frequent monitoring of brain activity and cognitive function in the home, in partnership with leading developers of digital biomarkers,” said Mr Cunningham, the company’s chief executive.

“We believe our integrated next generation platform can improve the execution of clinical trials by yielding significant time and cost savings, adding meaningful value to the next generation of (CNS) therapies,” he added.

The investment was led by the Dementia Discovery Fund, a £250 million specialist venture capital fund investing in, and creating, biotech companies pursuing transformational therapeutic approaches for dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. LifeArc, a

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Reading Our Minds: New book issues strong call to action to modernize psychiatry

The Rise of Big Data Psychiatry (The Wall Street Journal):

As a physician, I need to figure out three things when a new patient walks into my office: what their life is typically like, what has changed that made them seek treatment and what I can do to help them. It’s a complex problem, and most fields of medicine approach it by taking measurements. If I were a cardiologist evaluating a patient’s chest pain, for instance, I would speak with the patient, but then I would listen to their heart and measure their pulse and blood pressure. I might order an electrocardiogram or a cardiac stress test, tools that weren’t available a century ago.

Because I’m a psychiatrist, however, I evaluate patients in precisely the same way that my predecessors did in 1920: I ask them to tell me what’s wrong, and while they’re talking I carefully observe their speech

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Online Focus: Cancer Care

Strategies to deliver cancer care are focused on providing more comprehensive services under one roof, inspiring new layouts and approaches to treatment spaces to streamline diagnosis and treatment services. There’s also increased attention being paid to materials selection, biophilic strategies, and access to the outdoors to further support patients as well as the staff members and family members supporting the patient in their care journey. Below, find recent coverage of cancer center projects and planning and design strategies. For more, explore under the Cancer Care Projects section of the HCDmagazine.com website.

Better Use: The David H. Koch Center For Cancer Care At Memorial Sloan Kettering

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan has innovated the patient, caregiver, and staff experience via design.

Improving The Cancer Care Journey

Understanding a patient’s experience of care is the first step in designing a better … Read the rest

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PHOTO TOUR: Baptist Health South Florida Plantation

Baptist Health South Florida (Coral Gables, Fla.) has expanded its footprint in the tri-county area with the opening of an outpatient facility in Plantation, Fla., this past January. The 112,000-square-foot medical office building includes an ambulatory surgical center with five operating rooms and outpatient services, such as urgent care, diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, physical therapy, medical oncology, and primary care. The building also comprises designated suites for services from the health system’s four centers of excellence, including cancer, orthopedic, cardiology, and spine care.

Designed by Gresham Smith (Nashville, Tenn.), the four-story facility has a clean and modern design that’s consistent with other recently completed Baptist Health South Florida facilities. Located on a scenic lake development, the interior features large windows that allow patients to enjoy views of the outdoors while receiving care. A neutral, warm palette is accentuated with pops of blues and greens, with each floor having a specific … Read the rest

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