HKS Inc. has joined the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), making it the first architecture firm within the group. The design firm says its involvement in CHOT will help to expand the dialogue on how the built environment can inform and support emerging models of care.

CHOT, which is an industry-university cooperative research center funded by the National Science Foundation, has conducted research to support the implementation of evidence-based transformational strategies within health care organizations for more than a decade. Its research model relies on the knowledge and experience of health care leaders and practitioners to guide academic research.

“The involvement of facility design firms is important to this dialogue because the design and implementation of highly effective, innovative and evidence-based models of care will eventually translate into new requirements on effective use of space while engaged in these emerging models of care,” says Bita Kash, Ph.D., MBA, FACHE, director of CHOT.

One of CHOT’s projects will focus on maximizing the effectiveness of models of cancer care. Its Texas A&M University team will explore how facilities can support precise and personalized medicine. The research will be conducted by Texas A&M students in public health and architecture and overseen by Kash and Upali Nanda, director of research at HKS and executive director of the Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation. In another project, CHOT is working with Texas A&M and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston to research patient flow in children’s hospitals.

“We are excited to connect our place-based research efforts at HKS with the industry-recognized strategies in evidence-based health management and clinical practices of CHOT,” says Jeff Stouffer, FAIA, executive principal and global health practice leader, HKS Inc. “Together, we can make great strides to investigate, validate and implement innovations in health care design and delivery.”