I, like many others, was a fan of the summer Olympic games. I was thrilled with each victory and was constantly amazed at the strength and endurance of each athlete. 

I enjoyed the media coverage that would often provide the back story on how athletes started out and how they were encouraged by their parents and coaches. 

When the cameras focused on the coaches, you could see all of the emotion and encouragement in their faces from the many hours devoted to training.

Coaching is one of the most rewarding activities a person can be asked to do. A coach must have a certain level of expertise, be able to analyze a situation, and develop a plan to reach the stated goal. 

This is the process I use as a Practice EBD Clinic coach. Being a coach at this clinic at the annual HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference is both challenging and informative, and I enjoy being with so many like-minded people.

This year, I'm returning as a Practice EBD Clinic coach at the conference in Phoenix. Clinic participants not only learn how to incorporate evidence-based design and/or a research process into projects from top industry experts, but they also have the chance to work one-on-one with these experts.

Prior to the clinic, attendees are matched with a coach who can best address the participant’s needs. A coach who specializes in research may be paired with someone wanting to learn about or do extensive research; facility administrators may be matched with a coach to help outline strategic principles for their particular project; or an interior designer (such as myself) might be matched with another interior designer or other industry expert. 

It's interesting to me that EBD can be applied to all disciplines, helping to create and define a common goal, incorporating design to improve patient safety, quality of care, and outcomes. 

I'm often the person on a team who's responsible for sharing, developing, and tracking EBD initiatives throughout each project. This allows me to interact with many other disciplines, such as plumbing (sink size, placement, and type); landscape design (healing gardens); medical planners looking at travel distances, staff views to patients, placement of grab bars to help prevent falls; or the mechanical team looking at HEPA versus MRV filtration options.

For me, evidence-based design is the foundation for creating a healing environment throughout an entire facility.

Barbara Dellinger, EDAC, CID, IIDA, AAHID, is Associate Vice President, Director of Healthcare Interiors, East at HDR, Inc. With a background that includes both the interior designer and client perspective, Barbara looks at the design process through the eyes of the patient. Her philosophy is to be empathic to the patient's experience while integrating the latest evidence-based design (EBD) research results with the interior design concept, making every project as unique as possible. As an industry leader, she is a participant on The Center for Health Design's EDAC Advisory Council and Environmental Standards Council, and was the first at HDR to become EDAC certified.