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

By: Hunt, James M.; Bernstein, William N. | This article was originally published in Health Facilities Management.


Behavioral health care facilities are intrinsically different from general hospitals in many ways.


For a start, the basic function of the patient room is different. In general hospitals, the patients spend the majority of their time seeing their doctors, receiving treatment, eating their meals and talking with visitors in their rooms. In behavioral facilities, all of these functions take place in other locations such as group rooms, day rooms, dining rooms and activity rooms, which do not exist in general hospitals.


Another significant difference is that general hospital patients typically are not considered to be suicidal. While all behavioral health patients are not suicidal, inpatient suicides are a continuing area of concern. Moreover, the rates are not declining despite concerted efforts to reduce them.


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