While achieving operational efficiencies is among the top goals of all health care organizations, they may be missing an opportunity if they stick to logistical and workforce solutions to achieve these objectives and ignore what the health care design community can offer.

In fact, according to the 2014 Health Care Design Survey, recently conducted by Health Facilities Management (HFM) in cooperation with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, operational efficiency is the top factor driving change in health facility design today.

Although that in-depth, benchmark study won't appear until next month, when it will be our magazine's October cover story, we've rounded up a few articles in this edition of our HFM Design News e-newsletter to show how planning, design and construction professionals are addressing health care operational efficiencies and cost savings.

Our top feature, for instance, takes a look at how architects are helping hospitals to become more efficient by achieving greater patient and staff flow. From planning campuses that work better to designing more logical room adjacencies to adjusting the space between nurse stations and patient rooms, there are a number of strategies that designers are using to help hospitals serve their patients more cost-effectively.

Cost-effectiveness is also a key driver in our second feature, which takes a hard look at sustainable design features and shows how they are providing real savings to hospitals and health care facilities. As the story makes clear, what's good for the environment can be great for the bottom line.

Finally, we round out this month's newsletter with a story on assessing facilities to accurately and economically plan for capital expenditures as well as an article on a time-tested, cost-saving design strategy that may be ready for a comeback — integrated building systems.

The health care industry is making great strides at using more efficient processes for achieving high-quality care. And this month's HFM Design News provides four examples of how these goals can be further advanced through better planning, design and construction.