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Updated Design Guide for Behavioral Health facilities now available

December 3, 2010
by News release
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Washington, D.C. - As new products have become available to assist psychiatric and addiction treatment facilities in improving safety, the authors of a highly regarded reference guide on the built environment in behavioral health facilities have issued an update (4.1) edition of this online resource. Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities: Edition 4.1 is available free of charge on the Web site of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS).

Written by national experts David Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, and James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, the publication identifies specific items and manufacturers (with model numbers and photographs) to explain why hundreds of resources (from door levers to security glass) are appropriate for use in the behavioral healthcare setting. The document was first issued in 2003 as Guidelines for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities and reissued in second, third, and fourth editions between 2007-2010 as the Design Guide. The guide is intended to help those who are involved in caring for patients within an existing behavioral healthcare program as well as those designing a new building or renovating space.

“NAPHS is pleased to make this practical resource from experienced safety experts available to the field at no charge,” said NAPHS President/CEO Mark Covall. “NAPHS does not endorse or recommend any specific product, nor does exclusion of a product indicate disapproval. However, we believe that it is important to share ideas that can help in the process of continuously enhancing patient safety and improving patient care. Previous editions of this publication have been extremely well received by the field, and we appreciate the authors’ efforts to incorporate new products and thinking into the updated 4.1 edition.” The document is not intended as a legal standard of care that facilities are in any way required to follow.

David Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, president of SafetyLogic Systems in Austin, TX, is an expert in safety, risk management, human factors, and organizational consulting. He serves as a member of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Subcommittee on Health Care Occupancies and The Joint Commission Committee on Healthcare Safety. James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, president of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC, in Topeka, KS, is a registered Architect and facility management professional with more than 30 years experience. Among other things, he served as director of facilities management for the Menninger Clinic for 20 years and was a founding member and past chair of the Health Care Council of the International Facility Management Association.

To download a copy of the guide free of charge, visit www.naphs.org.