If a picture is worth a thousand words, what are some that come to mind when you look at projects featured on the pages of Healthcare Design? “Lighting controls,” “performance fabrics,” “wall systems,” and “acoustic treatments” might not be at the top of the list, but their presence is critical in creating the environments profiled here each month. Because, ultimately, no guiding principle, schematic design, or BIM model can be brought to life without the endless number of design products required to do so.

That’s why we thought it was high time for a Buyers Guide issue that shines light on an extraordinarily critical industry segment: product manufacturers and vendors.

In our January issue, you’ll find sources for the furniture, fixtures, equipment, and more that are used to create new, innovative environments of care. Listings are organized alphabetically by company and by categories. Additionally, our newly revamped website now features a streamlined Products section that showcases images of products and their descriptions for use. Both are ways to better connect buyers and sellers (but I’ll let Publisher Kristin Zeit tell you more about that in her new column).

It’s important to remember that while our editorial policy is to avoid the use of product or manufacturer/vendor names in articles and columns in order to maintain our independence and trustworthiness as a publication, the editors and I aren’t blind to the importance of this segment’s contributions to advancing building and design solutions. Seeing the hundreds of exhibitors at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference alone speaks volumes to the hard work being done every day to improve the patient experience and achieve better outcomes—work that’s taking place in factories and workshops, in concert and collaboration with efforts in architectural design studios and hospital board rooms.

That’s why this year, beyond the Buyers Guide, we’ll continue to feature new solutions in our Product Spotlight section of the print magazine. Watch for monthly emails requesting submissions based on product type (calling all universal design products for March!). We’ll also celebrate groundbreaking solutions to industry challenges in the annual Product Innovation Awards, with winners featured in our May issue. Additionally, the Nightingale Awards will recognize the best new products on display at the 2017 HCD Expo in Orlando, Fla., and coverage of those winners will appear in the December issue.

Our mission is to tell the whole story behind the newest healthcare facilities and provide not just inspiration to guide your next project, but the practical, actionable guidance necessary to deliver it. I hope you find the Buyers Guide to be another resource to help do just that.