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Design Mistakes, Part 1: Things Many 'Know' That 'Just Ain't So'

By: Hunt, James M. | This article was originally published in Behavioral Healthcare Executive.


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 number of time-honored platitudes that, through sheer repetition, have come to be "known" as unchallengeable facts of psychiatric facility design. Typically, staff comes to "know" such things because they have heard them throughout their professional lives in the facilities in which they have worked.


But using such "common knowledge" to work in designing new psychiatric facilities can be very problematic and very costly. Former baseball great Satchel Paige explained the problem best when he said, "It's not what you don't know that will hurt you; it's whatyou 'know' that just ain't so."


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