June 16, 2010
This week at NeoCon, Herman Miller Healthcare celebrated the opening of its new showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart and its recognition as a Large Showroom Winner in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Showroom and Booth Design Competition.
The prestigious award honors originality of design, visual impact, effective use of materials, and the outstanding use of space, color, texture, lighting, and graphics.
NeoCon showrooms typically consider the convergence of a company’s employees, products, environmental sensibilities, and graphic expressions. Our new space particularly was designed to convey our knowledge about healthcare facility design and practices, and comprehensive product portfolio.
With the recent acquisitions of Brandrud and Nemschoff, Herman Miller Healthcare possesses the most comprehensive healthcare furnishings portfolio in the industry. We chose to demonstrate this portfolio through a broad range of applications that feature a variety of products, including our award-winning Compass system.
Together, Herman Miller Healthcare, Brandrud, and Nemschoff have a tremendous portfolio of innovative, high performance products designed to improve the healing environment.
June 9, 2010
Many individuals are in good health and can independently perform their activities of daily living. Unfortunately, this is not the case for over 14 million Americans who receive some form of long-term care. From 2000-2025, the 65-plus demographic will double and increase the demand for long-term care by 100 percent. The current elder care system leaves many elders’ needs unmet and as the demand for long-term care increases the problem will get worse.
Innovators already tackling this problem include the Business Innovation Factory and its Elder Experience Lab, a platform for creating partnerships and prototyping solutions to improve the elder experience, and The Green House Project, a nationwide project rethinking skilled nursing care environments.
This is a complex problem without a right answer, but we can become part of the solution. Ultimately, the goal is to increase elder well-being, which for elders means staying engaged, being connected, and having a sense of purpose. Contact your local AARP chapter to see how you can start improving the lives of elders in your community or think about the elders in your family and how you could improve their experience. A quick phone call telling them how much they mean to you is a good place to start!
Photo via: Business Innovation Factory
June 2, 2010
As a healthcare architect in private practice, I remember redoing the same space for a healthcare customer three times in three years. And it’s not because it was bad design! Initially, the need in the space was a doctor’s lounge; then medical records; finally, the space was converted into a cardiac care unit for the Emergency Department. Each time, the space was gutted and rebuilt!
Functional needs just change too fast for healthcare providers to effectively predict their future needs. As architects and designers, we must own this problem for our customers, not be a part of the problem. Designs must be planned to accommodate continuous change with minimal downtime and capital costs. We can no longer believe that our design statement is the perfect solution to a program since the program will likely change at some level—even prior to occupancy.
A five-year usage of a space is a long time; imagining 50 years is only wishful thinking. How we plan, design, and construct spaces that can change gracefully is the new basic requirement for sustainable design.
May 26, 2010
Imagine the many changes in hospitals and patient care over the 39 years that I have been a registered nurse! Equally remarkable are the changes I’ve observed and experienced in nursing leadership, evolving from being a director in the mid-1980’s to “moving to the C Suite” in the 21st century.
As a director of nursing in the 1980’s, my role was limited to scheduling staff, staying within budget, having policies and procedures consistent with regulatory requirements, and supervision and direction of my direct-report head nurses. My role evolved over the years into that of leader, as did the role of most nurses in administration.
Leadership, so well outlined by Max De Pree in Leadership is an Art, is about relationships. Broad in scope and content, it involves the use of inspiration and influence to achieve a common goal, or shared purpose.
In the 21st century, the nursing leader, frequently titled Chief Nursing Officer, or CNO, inspires and influences the culture of nursing and the quality of patient care in the organization or system. He/she manages a highly complex environment and has a broad scope of responsibility and accountability for patient care departments, clinical quality, and patient and staff satisfaction. According to the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), nurse leaders “design, facilitate, and manage care.”
Given the breadth and depth of their leadership skills, knowledge, and experience, nurse leaders are in the best possible position to inspire and influence the delivery of care across the full healthcare continuum—never forgetting that their most important relationships are with the patients and families they serve.
May 12, 2010
Today is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. It’s also the last day of National Nurses Week. It seems like an appropriate opportunity to highlight the dedication and hard work of the nursing profession.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a week shadowing nurses in a hospital emergency department (ED) as part of a pre- and post-occupancy study Herman Miller Healthcare is conducting to compare the hospital’s existing facility to a new space that will be ready later this year.
It was a privilege and a humbling experience to spend 50 hours with the ED nurses. I expected the nurses to be caring and professional to all patients but I did not fully appreciate the difficult and stressful conditions under which ED nurses must maintain their professionalism. The tremendous respect I have for them and other health professionals has only grown.
Everyone who came through the door was treated with equality and received the same quality of care, whether it was someone with a sore throat who should not have been in the ED, or a frequent visitor to the ED hoping for a few pain relievers, or a chest pain sufferer who needed immediate attention. Large or small, frivolous or urgent, everyone was respected and cared for. The nurses certainly were frustrated with patients or worn down by a busy day in the ED but I never saw this come out during an interaction with the patient.
Thanks to all the nurses for their dedication to their patients. And special thanks to the nurses that allowed me to spend time with them. Florence Nightingale would be proud.
May 7, 2010
Here at Herman Miller, we’ve been studying the needs of healthcare professionals for over 40 years. It is our goal to create products that can reduce some of the stress and burdens that these professionals, such as nurses, face on a daily basis.
In addition to the healthcare research I do at Herman Miller, I’m familiar with these issues outside of work because my wife, Lindsay, has been a nurse for four years. Since we’re in the midst of National Nurses Week (May 6 through 12), I would like to share some insights about life in the nursing profession.
Nursing is often a thankless job that requires massive amounts of dedication, commitment, patience, and skill. While I work a standard Monday through Friday 8-5 job, my wife works any day of the week (including weekends), 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. I get major holidays off; she gets two of the four major holidays off, and it changes every year. I sit in front of a computer most of the day; she stands, walks, lifts, tucks, charts, cleans, dispenses meds, and starts IVs. And that’s not all. Besides these demanding physical tasks, nurses tackle the emotional challenges of dealing with sick patients and their families. They need to display quick and critical thinking from their library of knowledge to make life-saving decisions for their patients. They deal with the complexities of relationships and collaborate with multiple members of an interdisciplinary healthcare team. Ultimately, they focus on helping people heal.
At Herman Miller, we aim to alleviate their burden and simplify nurses’ tasks by providing them with easy access to supplies and ergonomic solutions in the healthcare environment. That allows nurses to direct 100% of their focus on the patient rather than dealing with insufficient equipment and processes.
This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow.” Thanks to my wife and all the nurses—retired and practicing—I can look forward to a healthier tomorrow.
Design, Herman Miller Journal
February 19, 2010
For the past four years, Herman Miller has been a sponsor of a program called InnovationSpace at Arizona State University. Begun in 2005, the program’s goal is to form transdisciplinary teams of students from industrial design, engineering, visual communication design, and business who systematically work through a matrix of four questions:
1. What is valuable to users?
2. What is possible through engineering?
3. What is desirable to business?
4. What is good for society and the environment?
They aim to create products that: satisfy user needs and desires; apply innovative but proven engineering standards; create measurable value for business; and benefit society while minimizing impacts on the environment.
“The InnovationSpace curriculum is built on the premise that a traditional discipline-specific education no longer provides enough expertise or variation in thinking to handle the complex challenges of new product development,” says Prasad Boradkar, Director of Innovation Space.
Herman Miller’s InnovationSpace teams are assigned to Doug Bazuin, senior healthcare researcher. Although they specifically focus on healthcare, the students can choose any area within the spectrum of care.
A two-semester program, it begins with a research phase. In the ideation phase, the teams develop three ideas, from which they choose one to pursue, following through with the development phase, engineering, marketing/branding, and business implications.
“The ideas and enthusiasm from the students really bring a lot of energy and are extremely refreshing,” says Doug Bazuin. “Besides providing real world experience and advice, this program helps prepare future employees and educate future end users.”
September 30, 2009
All over the country, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 is at work. But construction signs on our roadways are just one visible example. There are lots of other ways we can reap the benefits.
June 22, 2009
Photo credit: iStockphoto.com
Healthcare environments have more constraints than most, garner more attention than many, and have to account for more life-and-death variables than any other kind of environment you are likely to find yourself in. The stakes, the stress, and the rewards can be high.