As some of you might recall, I made a plea in my March 2010 column for more postoccupancy evaluation stories, making the point that such stories give readers invaluable information on what worked and what didn’t work in a facility, warts and all. As any history teacher will tell you, we study the past so we don’t make the same mistakes in the present. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

While this issue does not contain such a story, it does feature an update to a two-part article written by Sheila F. Cahnman, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, of HOK titled “Key Considerations in Patient Room Design.” The original articles ran in April and May 2006-not all that long ago, in the grand scheme of things-and yet, Sheila was able to come up with enough changes in design trends to justify what is for all intents and purposes a whole new piece. Check out the article on page 28.

As Sheila’s article clearly shows, things in the healthcare design community have certainly changed in the last four years. With Healthcare Reform, an aging Baby Boomer population, a recovering economy, and dozens of other factors at work, they are bound to change even more in the next four years, as well.

With that in mind, I feel it is more important than ever for those in the healthcare community-as rapidly evolving a field as there is in the world today-to make sure as we move forward through these exciting (and sure to be infuriating) times ahead, we do not lose sight of the lessons of the past. Applying modern medical techniques and especially ever-changing technology to the Hill-Burton era infrastructure that still rules most of the country is going to be a challenge.

This is an exciting time, and I look forward to covering the changes that will surely come in the pages of HEALTHCARE DESIGN and our sister publication, Healthcare Building Ideas, in the years ahead. I will continue to do so with one eye squarely on my back issue stacks. HD

Todd Hutlock, Editor-in-Chief Healthcare Design 2010 August;10(8):6