Safer Greener Design - Resources Hospital Design that focuses on the patient can improve patient satisfaction, the quality and safety of patient care, and employee safety, productivity and retention. Studies have found an association between healthcare design and reductions in patient falls, medication errors, adverse events, hospital acquired conditions, pain management and patient and family satisfaction. Selected resources are included here.

Patient safety

Patient centered

AHRQ Healthcare Innovations Exchange – Patient Centered Hospital Design



Safer and Greener Design – Return on Investment

  • Safe and Green Healthcare Design – What is the Return on Investment?
    Blair L. Sadler JD Former President and CEO Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego and Vice Chair Center for Health Design and Gina Pugliese, Vice President , Safety Institute, Premier healthcare alliance. Presentation at Premier Governance meeting

Evidence based design

Green building materials

  • Green building: Alternatives to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) building materials for health care; Pub-33
    This chart provides contact information and alternative materials for the products listed below:
  • Acoustical ceiling tiles
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Privacy & cubicle curtains
  • Resilient flooring
  • Shower curtains
  • Upholstery
  • Wall coverings
  • Wall & corner guard (including hand rails)
  • Window treatments

This publication is part of Going Green: A Resource Kit for Pollution Prevention in Health Care . Ver: October 6, 2008. Complete resource kit available at

  • Toxic chemicals in building materials- An overview for health care organizations
    The 14 page Fact Sheet briefly describes the reasons for health concerns from the chemicals listed below and is useful for providing essential background when selecting safer, environmentally sustainable materials.

    • Halogenated flame retardants
    • Heavy metals
    • Semi-VOC
    • Antimicrobials and Bisphenol A
  • Resilient flooring and chemical hazards
    Resilient Flooring & Chemical Hazards: A Comparative Analysis of Vinyl and Other Alternatives for Health Care 2009 addresses resilient flooring, evaluating potential health impacts of vinyl flooring and the leading alternatives – synthetic rubber, polyolefin and linoleum – currently in the health care marketplace. The study inventories chemicals incorporated as contents in each of the four material types or involved in their life cycle as feed-stocks, intermediary chemicals, or emissions. It then characterizes those chemicals using a chemical hazard-based framework that addresses:

    • persistence & bioaccumulation;
    • human toxicity; and
    • human expo
  • Sustainable Resilient Flooring Choices for Hospitals: Perceptions and
    Experiences of Users, Specifiers and Installers

    The study builds on the 2009 Health Care Research Collaborative paper, “Resilient Flooring & Chemical Hazards” The present study, involved hearing directly from users about their perceptions and experiences and used an online survey of and a series of interviews with architects, installers and facility managers to identify the key issues with resilient flooring materials and their installation prior to the development of the survey.

Surge capacity – special designs considerations

  • Surge capacity and building design – Joint Commission
    The Joint Commission (TJC) and its affiliate Joint Commission Resources (JCR) released a free web-based publication on surge hospitals in December, 2005. Surge hospitals are designed to assist the community in absorbing an overwhelming number of patients seeking care during emergencies, such as mass-casualty events or infectious disease outbreaks. Surge hospitals provide care when permanent facilities exhaust their capacity or cannot operate because of damage or other conditions This guide describes the different possibilities, such as shuttered hospitals, closed wards in existing hospitals, and mobile facilities, and the design considerations for each. It explores the challenges of planning for, establishing and operating surge hospitals, such as obtaining sufficient staff, supplies and equipment and providing safe care.

  • Surge Capacity – MERET- Minnesota Emergency Preparedness Education and Training
    The MERET site has six modules including one on isolation and one on how to develop Temporary Negative Pressure rooms (TNP).