Immediate Greeter Desk provide instant directions and answers for incoming patients


Visible Waiting Room allows patients to know they are seen by the nurse staff. No one likes to be forgotten in times of crisis.


Biophilia is incorporated into the design elements. People have a natural connection to nature and it’s proven to improve the healing process.


Distinctive Wayfinding identifies key areas within the hospital providing easy navigation and gathering areas.

Evidence-Based Design

Evidence-based design seeks to understand the direct link between patient health and quality of care and the way a hospital is designed. The results include proven architectural methods for improving patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction, as well as staff retention and service efficiency.

By linking the care people get to the outcomes they experience, evidence-based research has become the key to developing better ways to enhance the healthcare work environment and improve the quality of care. Supporting improvements in health outcomes is a strategic goal of the design team by focusing on the following factors:

  • Enhance patient safety by selecting materials that reduce infection, risk, injuries from falls, and medical errors;
  • Eliminate environmental stressors, such as noise, that negatively affect outcomes and staff performance;
  • Reduce stress and promote healing by designing hospitals to be more pleasant, comfortable, and supportive for patients and staff alike.

Our Research Participation

    Center for Health Design

    Barbara J. Huelat, ASID has been an active board member from 1988-1994. Position activities included the initial development of Evidence-Based Design through design research as sponsored through the work of the Center.

    Environmental Standards Committee

    Barbara J. Huelat has been active members of the Environmental Standards Committee, a subsidiary of the Center for Health Design from 1991 — present. This committee has addressed many aspects of Evidence Based Design. The most significant contribution has been the Chapter 1.2 Environment of Care, AIA Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities 2006.

    Pebble Projects Presenter

    Barbara Huelat has been an invited guest and speaker at Pebble Project Meeting, Orlando, FL., March 2005. This presentation addressed the evidence and practical applications of Healing Environments — Design for the Body, Mind and Spirit. Barbara Huelat has been a presenter for the Center’s tour of speaking engagements — “The Business Case for Better Buildings”. This was presented in cities around the country presenting the results of “Pebble” Research. This tour was sponsored by Turner Construction and the Center For Health Design.

    Pebble Project Team

    Barbara Huelat was on the design team for a Pebble Project. The project was ER One of the ER One Institute, Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC. This project studies the risk of material and finish in bacteria mitigation within the Emergency Room Environments. Other components of the research include sthe human factor in crowd control, Biophilia and stress reduction of staff. We workied with the researcher Craig Zimring, PhD, Anjali Joseph, Director of Research and Georgetown School of Medicine researchers. Other research with the ER One project includes “Acoustics in the Emergency Department and Nurse Station Design for the Emergency Department.”

    Brain Institute:

    Barbara Huelat has been actively engaged in concept testing with Michael Petrizak, MD of the Brain Institute, Washington DC to test models of Experiential Design and Anxiolytic Design in the Dementia Care Settings. Data Gathering phase is being implemented by the University of Iowa.

    University of Central Florida:

    Barbara Huelat has been actively engaged in evidence-based research on healing environments with Thomas T. H. Wan, Ph.D., professor of the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs in the College of Health and Public Affairs. Activities have included interactive lectures with the university and associate universities including University of Virginia and of Kaohsiung Medical University in Thailand. Work with Doctor Wan has led to the publication of Ms. Huelat’s book Healing Environments Design for the Body, Mind and Sprit translation into High Chinese and distribution to Asia from Thailand. Doctor Wan added a final chapter to the book entitled Evidence-Based Research on Healing Environments. Barbara continues to collaborate with Doctor Wan on the new second edition of her book Healing Environments: What’s the Proof? based on evidence-based design. This second edition will be available in October 2007.