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10 Design Features to Minimize Aggression in Behavioral Health Facilities

vistaII_01Patients arriving at a behavioral health facility may already be stressed due to their medical state or the fact that they may be admitted involuntarily. Often stress can lead to aggression in this type of environment, making it difficult for staff to perform optimally. It is reported that 32.4% of patients admitted to behavioral health facilities engaged in aggressive behavior or violence.

The thought is that if the built environment had design features to minimize aggression, then there would be an increase in the safety and well-being of patients and staff.

An article titled Psychiatric ward design can reduce aggressive behavior that was recently included in the Journal of Environmental Psychology highlights 10 design features to minimize aggression in behavioral health environments:

Minimize Crowding

  1. Shared bedrooms cause higher crowding stress, reduced privacy, more aggression, increased illness complaints and social withdrawal. Therefore, single patient rooms with private bathrooms lessen the stress associated with crowded spaces.
  2. Communal areas with seating options and ample space to regulate relationships are important. Since personal space intrusions can trigger aggression, it’s vital for patients to have ample personal space with seating options. This allows them to monitor their interactions with others and can keep greater distances.
  3. Design for a low ratio of patients to the number of rooms available. This will help reduce crowding and allow patients the ability to move between different rooms comfortably – regulating relationships and avoiding stressors.

Reduce Noise, Increase Control

  1. Uncontrollable or random noise increases stress and can trigger aggression. Therefore, noise reducing design can lessen stress and improves communication between staff and patients. Design measures for reducing noise include walls and doors that block noise, as well as sound-absorbing environmental surfaces that diminish echoing.
  2. A patient can become stressed when exposed to environmental conditions that are out of their control. Therefore, patient rooms should be designed with a certain level of control. Design features may include ways a patient can personalize their room or have operable features such as lighting and windows.

Positive Distractions

  1. It is well documented that gardens accessible to patients can reduce stress and improve emotional well-being. Gardens designed with informal natural styles that include vegetation and flowers are more effective in reducing stress than structured or geometric gardens with prominent hardscape.
  2. Nature window views can also reduce stress and diminish anger. Although not as effective as physically being in a garden, it is still beneficial.
  3. When selecting accessories for behavioral health facilities, realistic nature art should be considered. It is more effective at reducing stress and aggression than abstract artwork.
  4. Patients exposure to daylight may have shorter stays and staff exposed to daylight report less stress, better health, and higher satisfaction.

Design for Observations

  1. Final design features to minimize aggression include communal spaces and bedroom doors observable from a central area to help staff anticipate and prevent aggressive behavior. Floor layouts with a central area for observation should be considered over corridor-dominated designs.

 

Specifying Heavy Duty Chairs for Healthcare Environments

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Healthcare environments are nonstop with 24/7 use. It’s also a place that must serve the entire population, including people who are overweight and people with behavioral and mental health conditions. Therefore, it’s important to provide seating in these spaces that can withstand heavy loads, constant use and potential abuse. Often referred to as heavy-duty chairs, this type of seating is considered high-quality and can resist damage due to it’s superior internal structure and durable exterior finishes.

Internal Construction of Heavy Duty Chairs

With the increased weight of the population, new test standards for seating are under consideration which will address 99.5% of male population in the US.  These proposed standards will be based on testing a chair to 600lbs. Meeting these heavy-duty chair requirements takes sophisticated engineering and strong internal components.

Most companies do not specify the thickness (gauge) of steel used in their seating products. Many are commonly made of 16-gauge tubing, however 14-gauge tubing is recommended and provides the superior strength required for heavy-duty chairs. It’s important to recognize that the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel.  More specifically, 16-gauge steel is .065” thick, and 14-gauge steel is .083” thick.  That’s a difference of .018” which might seem like a small number, but it translates to being 22% thicker! This is an important consideration when comparing competitive seating products.

High resilience foam is used in the manufacturing of heavy duty chairs. This foam is the highest grade of polyurethane foam weighing 3 lb. per cubic foot. This foam contours the back and seat of a person sitting in the chair exceptionally well.  The foams cell structure enables extreme elastic and optimal supporting force. It’s the elastic of high resilience foam that helps to prolong the comfort life of the chair and with regular use should last at least twelve years.

 Durable Exterior Design of Heavy Duty Chairs

With the trend towards residential appeal in healthcare environments, not only must heavy-duty chairs have a strong internal core, they must have an extremely durable and aesthitically pleasing exterior that withstands constant use and the harsh cleaning regiments of healthcare environements.

Chosen fabrics for healthcare seating should resist spills, stains, odors and microbial growth. This will keep heavy-duty chairs cleaner and looking great longer. CF Stinson’s vinyl, non-pvc and Crypton fabric repels and releases both water and oil based stains, has an integrated non-porous moisture barrier and protects against bacteria and odor causing microbes using silver ion technology.

Finishing options such as wood, solid surface and polyurethane arm caps protect the chair arms and makes them easier to clean, enhancing the overall longevity of heavy duty chairs.

If you’re looking at heavy-duty chairs for your next project, below are some of our favorites:

Heavy Duty Seating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oasis Seating for Behavioral Health

Onward Heavy Duty Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onward Seating for Behavioral Health

Vista II - Heavy Duty Seating for Behavioral Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vista II Seating for Behavioral Health

 

Stance Healthcare’s Big Bike Ride Raises Over $7,500

The unpredictable weather didn’t prevent the staff at Stance Healthcare from participating in the Heart and Strokes Big Bike fundraising event for the second year in a row.  Employees eagerly rode the Big Red Bike through the streets of Kitchener for about 20 minutes.  Surpassing last year’s fundraising dollars, staff raised over $3000, our suppliers donated over $1000, and Stance Healthcare generously matched the employees fundraising goal, for a combined fundraising total of over $7,500!

The funds raised help ensure that critical research in hospitals and universities across Canada can continue. It supports the vision of creating healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke.

Top 5 Highlights from NeoCon 2018

NeoCon, the most important contract furniture event of the year, is always an overwhelming experience – from long elevator lines and getting lost on the show floor to the overload of texture, color, and inspiration! Below are our Top 5 Highlights from NeoCon 2018:

  1.  2018 BEST LARGE BOOTH DESIGN

One of our top highlights from NeoCon 2018 had to be our show space. Interior Designer Suzanne Fawley created a space that could be remembered, an experience – a place where conversations take place. Before the show we were ecstatic to hear that Stance Healthcare had won the award for Best Large Booth Design from the IIDA and Contract Magazine. If you didn’t have a chance to see the space, you can visit it on Instagram, or view the 360 pictures on Facebook.

Large Booth Design Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. HiP AWARD HONOREE

Interior Design’s HiP Award recognizes innovative products at NeoCon. And although we didn’t win, one of the highlights from NeoCon 2018 was when our Carson Sleeper won “honoree” status in the health & wellness furniture category.  This sleeper has a small footprint and can be specified according to the space available.

  1. PRODUCTS CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT

Our manufacturer reps spent a lot of time perusing our space with clients and providing us with feedback on products currently in development. Below were some of their favorites:

Attessa Curve Modular Seating

 

 

 

 

 

Attessa Curved – This modular lounge seating has a curved back and seat, providing a softer look to suit a wide range of spaces. Its modular components are built to serve high-traffic, public areas.

Attessa Pods

 

 

 

 

 

Attessa “Pod” – This product was developed as we begin to see more application for private spaces in healthcare. This is the same product as our current Attessa, but with the added height of privacy panels.

Corina Lounge

 

 

 

 

 

Carina Lounge – Another option in lounge seating, this collection has sleek geometric lines creating a more contemporary look. Bold, yet sophisticated.

  1. INDUSTRY FRIENDS

Of course, a list of highlights from NeoCon 2018 wouldn’t be complete without seeing old friends and meeting some new ones. As always, we enjoyed a visit with our fabric suppliers who gave us the inside scoop on what’s new in textiles. A virtual reality session from Kisp made me think more about where this industry is going concerning technology. The only bit of swag we were able to pick up came from a visit to Project Matrix where we received a wine tumbler (not that I’m complaining).  Lastly, thank you to our good friends from My Resource Library who were decked out in green and stopped by for a visit.

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  1. FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT

Work hard, play hard…right? We started off the show on Sunday evening with a tame dinner but finished with good times at Howl at the Moon.  The three days that followed were mostly spent in the booth during the day but eating some classic Chicago food in the evening – deep dish pizza anyone?!

Those are the highlights from NeoCon 2018 – see you next year!

 

Behavioral Health Workshop Sponsored by Stance Healthcare

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On September 27th 2018, The Center for Healthcare Design is hosting a Behavioral Health Workshop titled Strategic Facility Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line. Stance Healthcare is proud to sponsor this interactive workshop that enables design professionals to employ physical design strategies and methodologies that support improved care for behavioral health. The workshop will feature industry thought leaders and real-world strategies that support behavioral health populations.

This type of learning opportunity aligns with Stance Healthcare’s vision of providing behavioral health patients with safe and comfortable healing environments. Stance Healthcare’s furnishings are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, yet able to withstand intense environments, and are easy-to-clean.  They have also been developed in consultation with healthcare interior designers, behavioral health practitioners, facility managers and housekeeping staff.

If you are intending to design new mental and behavioral health facilities, or wishing to evaluates the quality of your existing facility, you should attend this educational session. By registering for the workshop before July 31st, you’ll receive early bird pricing.  Registration details can be found on The Center for Healthcare Design’s website: https://www.healthdesign.org/events/121.

NeoCon 2018 – Spaces Healthcare Specifiers Won’t Want to Miss

This year NeoCon 2018 will be celebrating its 50th edition as the world’s leading platform and one of the most important events of the year for the healthcare design industry. NeoCon 2018 will take place at The Mart from Monday, June 11th to Wednesday, June 13th hosting over 500 leading companies.  With so many manufacturers and emerging companies in the categories of furniture, fabrics, flooring, and technology, it can be challenging to decide which ones to visit first! Below is our “don’t miss” guide to helping you navigate NeoCon 2018:

Stinson – 10-150

Stinson helps make healthcare seating come to life! This year at NeoCon 2018, Stinson will introduce their Habitat Collection which explores unique yearns and inviting patterns that connect with our comfort zones. Stinson Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Matrix – 7-3130

ProjectMatrix was founded in 1987 by dealer design professionals who wanted a better choice than the existing software available for space planning and specification. This year at NeoCon 2018 they will be unveiling their new look, demonstrating software updates and giving away some swag. Stance Healthcare is happy to be one of the manufacturer libraries available in ProjectMatrix.

MRL – 7-3130

If you haven’t heard of My Resource Library, you might be living under a rock. They are the premier digital library serving the contract market; and this year you will find them exhibiting with Project Matrix. Together they will be showing the new integration capabilities within MRL, Project Matrix and CET Designer.  Also, if you find a MRL team member during the show, you’ll be rewarded with a gift card to Starbucks!

 VividBoard – 1060

A GMIvividboard company, VividBoard specializes in whiteboards that can improve patient care, patient relationships with an overall staff satisfaction. This year they are excited to be in a brand-new showroom at The Mart. Stop by for a tour and see some of their new product introductions. Also, on Monday they will be hosting a cocktail party on June 11th from 2-5pm to celebrate their new space.

 

Stance Healthcare – 7-4050

Of course, we would love for you to stop by our new space! This year our booth size has doubled to include 850 square feet of high-quality products that meet the ever-evolving demands of the healthcare industry as it relates to infection control, safety, design, and comfort. Newly released products you can expect to see at the show include the Marna Seating Collection and Carson Sleeper. We will also be hosting cocktails on Monday, June 11th from 3 – 5 pm to celebrate our enhanced space.

Click here to read more about our new space

Enjoy the show!

Supporting Mental Health Awareness

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. May is known as Mental Health Awareness month, and we are working with NAMI to help “cure stigma”.

As a manufacturer of furniture for behavioral health environments, this cause is especially important to us.  When speaking with behavioral health professionals we often hear of the shame, fear and silence stigma can cause, often preventing people from seeking help and treatment.

This month, in partnership with NAMI, we are spreading the word about mental health awareness and helping to cure the stigma.  Partnerships such as these are a vital part of building the mental health movement. This year we’ve also donated $5000 to NAMI in an effort to help them educate individuals and educators, advocate for national public policy and lead public awareness activities such as Mental Health Awareness month and the #CureStigma campaign.

Stigma harms the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence, and in some cases, even takes lives. We can #CureStigma with compassion, empathy and understanding. Take the quiz today to find out how you can #CureStigma.

The prevalence of mental health can be seen in the statistics below:

 

About NAMI

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

NAMI started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 and has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, they are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

Healing Design for Teens

Key takeaways from the webinar Healing design for teens in crisis: A story of innovation, research & hope. Hosted by The Center for Health Design. Presented by Jessica Radecki, Associate Principal, Medical Planner Clark/Kjos Architects

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Last week Stance Healthcare sponsored a webinar hosted by The Center for Health Design.  Focused on healing design for teens, over 340 people attended the webinar, making it the largest audience ever for The Center for Health Design. With increased awareness of mental health and adolescents, it’s obvious why this webinar on healing design for teens was of interest to so many people.

The presentation specifically addressed a project Jessica worked on in Washington that was completed in November of 2016. MultiCare’s Tacoma General Hospital is 19,600 square feet, has 27 inpatient beds and serves adolescents between the ages of 13-18 who have been admitted both voluntary and involuntarily.  The framework of the project was based on Trauma Informed Care and recovery values of hope, acceptance, mutual respect, inclusion, empowerment, choice, citizenship, person-centered, meaningfulness and believing in people.

Guided by research the design process included providing 3 different spaces within the behavioral health environment:

  1. Physical: Providing functional spaces for sufficient and varied activity. This includes access to nature and views, providing adequate space, avoiding crowding, creating variety, and being sensitive to stimulation.
  2. Social: These spaces promote positive behaviors by providing privacy, a range of active spaces, and a place for spiritual mindfulness, physical exercise, and social intimacy.
  3. Symbolic: These spaces provide signals of trust, collaboration, refuge and respect by
    creating a non-containment feeling, minimizing signals of mistrust, and creating a sense of community.

Jessica also reference an excellent resource for designers and architects. The Patient Safety Standards, Materials and Systems Guidelines recommended by the New York State Office of Mental Health provides guidelines on selecting materials, fixtures, and hardware. You can find the publication on the Office of Mental Health website.

After watching this webinar, I can definitely appreciate the challenges that come with creating a healing design for teens.

A recording of the webinar will be available on the Center for Health Design website in the next couple of weeks. I encourage you to check it out.

Enhanced Show Space at NeoCon’s 50th Anniversary Show

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Where Conversations Take Place

Ontario, Canada (April 2018) – Stance Healthcare, a manufacturer of furniture for healing environments, has enhanced their show space for Neocon 2018 – one of the most recognizable tradeshows in commercial design.

This year Stance Healthcare’s show space has doubled in size to include 850 square feet of highquality products that meet the ever-evolving demands of the healthcare industry as it relates to infection control, safety, design and comfort. Newly released products you can expect to see at the show include the Marna Seating Collection and Carson Sleeper. Also, Stance Healthcare is excited to be featuring several innovative new furniture designs that are in the final stages of development.

Designed by Behavioral Health interior designer Suzanne Fawley, the enhanced show space will incorporate healthcare inspired color selections, durable textures, and the calming feeling of nature paired with furniture designed specifically for the challenging Healthcare and Behavioral Health environments.

“The goal of the enhanced show space is to promote a feeling that will be remembered, an experience, a place where conversations have depth instead of a space where the obligatory walk-through takes place and nothing is remembered or learned.” says Suzanne Fawley, Design Consultant. “The space will emphasize healthcare area specific vignettes to guide conversation and promote knowledge share.”

“We are very excited about the enhanced show space Suzanne has envisioned for Stance Healthcare,” says Carl Kennedy, President. “We look forward to providing show attendees with a space that highlights the relationship between the healthcare and behavioral health interior environment and furniture.”

In celebration, Stance Healthcare will be hosting a cocktail party in their new show space (booth 7-4050) at NeoCon 2018 on Monday, June 11th from 3 – 5pm at The Mart in Chicago. For show information visit www.neocon.com

Webinar: Designing for Adolescents in Mental Health Crisis: A Story of Research, Innovation, and Hope

We are a proud sponsor of the upcoming webinar: Designing for Adolescents in Mental Health Crisis: A Story of Research, Innovation, and Hope

Adolescence can be a tumultuous time in one’s life. Mental health conditions often surface during this stage, and it may be the first time that some patients enter an inpatient behavioral health unit. How can design best support this patient population that is transitioning from childhood to adulthood? Learn how a design team utilized research, Lean processes, and innovation to solve the challenges of this unique patient population for the 27-bed Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit in Tacoma, Washington. Find out how design can support a seclusion- and restraint-free care model and how pushing beyond the conventions of behavioral healthcare design was achieved.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear current trends in behavioral healthcare models that impact the design of the built environment.
  • Examine how research influenced and contributed to shaping the environment and the attitudes of clinical operations, design, and construction teams.
  • Learn about highly specialized spaces and innovations in behavioral health design that contribute to improved safety for patients and staff.
  • Learn how Lean tools were utilized to quickly gain consensus, innovate, meet an aggressive project schedule, and achieve goals.

Register here.