Healthcare Design regularly checks the pulse of the industry by inviting healthcare design professionals to share what’s on their minds and why, via our Take 5 column.

This year, we heard from healthcare planners, CEOs, designers, architects, and more on a range of topics, from branding and population health to technology and building resiliency. (If you want to start off the new year sharing your own Take 5, contact me at

For instance, the topic of big data and healthcare design research was on the minds of many, including Sheila Bosch, director of healthcare research at Gresham, Smith and Partners (Tampa), who said: “A design firm can conduct only a small number of rigorous studies in any given year. If we could extract facility-specific benchmarking data from building information models and performance data from health systems, perhaps we could apply analytic techniques to increase our understanding of how design decisions affect healthcare quality.”

Technology continued to be part of the design conversation, too, with considerations for how new devices might impact everything from registration to assisting in patient care.

“All the monitoring technology used in a healthcare environment provides limitless potential to harness data in new ways and connect disparate services and objects with one another. For example, monitoring systems could ping a concierge robot that a patient is becoming dehydrated and deliver a glass of water before they even think to ask a nurse for assistance,” said Dave Ruthven, creative director of NXT Health (New York).

There were plenty of discussions about location, location, location, whether of a new hospital, freestanding emergency department, new medical home, and more.

“Think of location in terms of convenience, visibility, and access,” advised Paula Crowley, CEO of Anchor Health Properties (Wilmington, Del.). “For an outpatient center, your criteria for choosing a location need to be same that Walgreens is using for its store sites. You might be across the street from them or even competing for the same site.”

While these topics are just a handful of the ones impacting healthcare design and architecture, I’ve also noticed that during some interviews over the past few months, project teams and owners are offering glimpses into the ideas and trends they’ve had enough of.

“Please, don’t use the word ‘hospitality,’” muttered one source.

Others have questioned the future of the waiting room, open versus private rooms, decentralized work stations.

With the new year upon us, I’d like to hear what trends you’d like to see go away. What’s been tried and just doesn’t have a place in healthcare design? And what’s so overused/misunderstood/unpopular that we should never talk about it again?

Weigh in here or on Healthcare Design’s LinkedIn group page, The Healthcare Design Connection. I’ll compile some of the best ideas and share them in Healthcare Design’s first issue of the 2015!