If you happened to do a Google search for the words “Halloween” and “healthcare,” perhaps in a far-fetched scheme to brainstorm ideas for a healthcare design blog post somehow tied to the spooky season (speaking strictly hypothetically, of course), your memory would likely be jogged by where we were at this time just one year ago.

Headlines abounded in 2009 on a news event dubbed by one to be a “Halloween healthcare horror,” and we’re not talking about a rash of poisoned candy or razorblades in caramel apples. Instead, on this very day, Oct. 29, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi unveiled the final version of the House of Representative’s healthcare reform bill.

On Nov. 7, 2009, the House passed the bill in a vote of 220-215. Later, on Dec. 24, 2009, the Senate passed its own version of the reform. And I’m sure you all remember the rest: After a bit of back-and-forth, by March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the legislation into law.

Receiving mixed reaction from the healthcare design community after the fact, we’re still waiting to see exactly how the reform will impact our industry. It remains likely, however, that once the bulk of the legislation goes into effect, hospitals and other healthcare facilities will face making the decision of whether to expand or renovate current spaces due to the anticipated influx of new patients, in addition to responding to required changes, like technological improvements, that must take place as well.

Now as we push forward, and as this year’s Halloween weekend descends upon us, I’m certain we’re all collectively rooting for a healthcare reform treat rather than any kind of trick.