Featured Publication

November 2018 Edition 7.4

Download the Design Guide

A new edition of the Behavioral Health Design Guide has been published and is available for download here, Design Guide 7.4 – Nov. 2018. This is edition marks the twentieth revision of this white paper that was originally posted in 2003.  It is available free of charge via download as a service to the industry in an attempt to provide current information regarding products and philosophies that are better for use in psychiatric hospitals and behavioral health facilities.

I have the privilege of sharing the duties of authoring this document with David Sine, the president of Safety Logic Systems.  It is a compilation of our combined seventy years of experience in designing, facility management and risk management and operation of these facilities.  We are also aided by many individuals active in the field with their comments regarding what does (and doesn’t) enhance patient and staff safety in these facilities.

This Edition 7.4 includes over 40 products that were not in the February 2018 Edition and the CSI numbering system format for the products is included in the Appendix.  Index is included with page numbers for the various sections to help users with finding the specific items they need.


Designing Behavioral Health Facilities

Building, Design and Construction University course by Debbie Gregroy, James M. Hunt, Kimberly N. McMurray and Ben Szela

Integrated inpatient Healthcare Design

SAFETY FOR ALL: Integrated Design for Inpatient Units

Bringing integrated healthcare into the inpatient environment is essential to help keep safe the 20% of all adults who are currently on a mental health medication.  The Joint Commission has reported that 25% of inpatient suicides do not occur on psychiatric units.  Designing for suicide resistance must be extended to all inpatient rooms and toilets.

Common Mistakes in Designing Psychiatric Hospitals – An UPDATE

FGI_CommonMistakesPsychiatricHospitals_1505This white paper was originally published by the American Institute of Architects in their Academy of Architecture for Health Journal in 2009.  We continue to be asked to help hospitals with newly constructed facilities correct the mistakes that were designed into their buildings.  This UPDATE provides insights into the current best practices in Psychiatric Hospital […]

Behavioral Healthcare Design – Ten Things You “Know” That “Just Ain’t So”

Preliminary meetings involving architects, psychiatric hospital management, and unit staff members often result in decisions that crystallize into critical details of facility design very early in the planning process. These can be very difficult, if not impossible, to change later on. During these sessions, it is not unusual for psychiatric hospital staff to state any […]

How to Stretch $50 Grand

Behavioral Healthcare recently presented top experts with a design challenge, asking for advice on what facility upgrades they might prioritize if they had a budget of only $50,000. While it’s easy to make improvements with $1 million in hand, not all centers have that luxury.

Letting the Light In

Finding creative ways to introduce natural light into behavioral healthcare units and other creative solutions to drastically improve the therapeutic environment for patients and staff.

Behavioral Health Design: Codes, Guidelines and Resources that Promote Best Practices

Behavioral healthcare facilities are subject to different code and regulations than general hospitals.  The applicable codes, regulations and guidelines to consult are identified and explained.

Three Design Fixes to Help Integrate Behavioral, Medical Care

The term “Integrated Care” is being used a lot these days, but little is being said about the physical environment in which this will take place.  Perhaps we need to start defining what Integrated Healthcare Design will be developed. Healthcare Design Magazine: November 2014


Health Environment Planning

Kimberly McMurray Institute for Patient Centered Design Innovation Summit Charleston, South Carolina – Fall 2015

Through the Patient’s Eyes

Kimberly McMurray A Design Innovation Session ACE Summit and Reverse Expo, Atlanta, Georgia – February 2016

Behavioral Health Innovations

  Kimberly McMurray (BHFC),  James M. Hunt (BHFC) & Patricia Paulson (HDR) Institute for Patient Centered Design Behavioral Healthcare Design Conference and Expo Phoenix, AZ November 11, 2018

How and Why Behavioral Health Inpatient Unit Design is Different from Medical/Surgical Units

  James M. Hunt The Center for Health Design’s Second Annual Health Care Design Workshop Baltimore, MD.  September 27, 2018

Open House for Behavioral Health Patient Mock-Up Room Project

  Kimberly McMurray, AIA, EDAC,MB and James M. Hunt, AIA The  Institute for Patient Centered Design VA Hospital, Lyons, New Jersey

Ligature Attachment & Suicide Risk Assessment on Behavioral Health Inpatient Units

  Kimberly McMurray, AIA California Society of Healthcare Engineers (CSHE), San Diego, California – April 19, 2018

Designing Behavioral Health Inpatient Units

Kimberly McMurray, AIA Cornerstone Healthcare Group, Dallas, Texas – April 5, 2017

Kimberly McMurray | Tuscaloosa, Alabama | 205-454-2210 | kimberly@bhfcllc.com |
Jim Hunt | Topeka, Kansas | 785-231-4500 | jim@bhfcllc.com
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