Interactive workshops at conferences are an ideal way to network, and as I mentioned in my last blog, the Institute for Patient-Centered Design is presenting one at this year’s HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference. It’s called the Patient Experience Simulation Lab, and participating designers and architects will serve as patients and family members within a physical mock-up on-site. Even better, the inspiration for the on-site model will come from another hands-on exercise: the institute’s Patient Empowered Room Design Competition.

The top three submissions were announced on August 20, and the first place winner will be crowned at a reception the first night of the conference. The winning design will serve as the inspiration for the physical model, which will be built by a Phoenix-based design and construction team, including DWL Architects + Planners Inc., Kitchell Contractors, and I-Frame Building Solutions.

The competition finalists (in alphabetical order) are Inc., Kahler Slater, and Mitchell Associates, and you can see renderings of their submissions by clicking the photo above. “The jurors and I were impressed by the attention to detail shown in the top scoring submissions,” says Tammy Thompson, president of the Institute for Patient-Centered Design. “While design aesthetics were very important, we also looked for submissions that demonstrated a clear understanding of what happens inside a patient room. Thoughtful attention to planning details, such as circulation and adjacencies, received high scores. We also looked for knowledge of best practices for safety, such as infection control procedures and strategies used to decrease medical error and patient falls. We strongly believe that patients should be included in the design process, so we also looked for pre-design activities that included patient input.”

All the eligible competition submissions will be on display during the conference reception.