I must admit that a giddy grin came over my face recently upon opening a package containing the updated version of one of my personal favorite books on the design of healthcare environments—Hospital and Healthcare Facility Design, Third Edition, by Richard L. Miller, FAIA; Earl S. Swensson, FAIA; and J. Todd Robinson, AIA, EDAC.

The previous edition had been released in 2002, just a year after we launched HEALTHCARE DESIGN, and it has since been a constant source of information for me, a regular fixture on my coffee table that I relied upon heavily to educate me when I first came on the magazine staff in October of that year as part of what was at the time still only an annual publication.

Now, a decade later, how much has changed? In a word, everything.

Single-patient rooms are now the norm, while they had been a luxury; evidence-based design principles such as incorporating daylight and views into patient spaces have gone from luxuries to must-haves. The list goes on, and the book shows them all, from across the country, incorporating everything from large-scale medical campuses to retirement communities and everything in between. For those just starting out in the healthcare design industry, it provides a useful cross-section of everything on offer, exploring trends both established and emerging, with great visuals to back up the rich information. For seasoned professionals, it’s a timely reminder of the best that’s out there and a peek behind the curtain at what’s to come.

While the new edition stands comfortably by itself, long-time healthcare design professionals (and not-so-casual observers like me) will likely get a kick out of comparing that 2002 edition to this update to see just how far we’ve come—it’s been a remarkable journey. The healthcare landscape in the United States is entering what is sure to be a period of change; who knows what the fourth edition might look like?