Health care professionals who play a role in designing and building hospitals and other facilities will gather in Phoenix in March to share ideas, learn about cutting edge advances and stay ahead of emerging issues in this rapidly changing field. The 2012 International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC) is geared for everyone involved in building health
care facilities.

"It's the best conference for this information," says Joe Sprague, FAIA, FACHA, senior vice president and director of health facilities at Dallas-based HKS Inc. Sprague, a past president of the American College of Healthcare Architects, is a member of the committee planning the 2012 PDC Summit. "It's a venue that's interdisciplinary, and it features not only the design and construction team, but the owner team, unlike other conferences."

This year's conference features keynote speaker T. R. Reid, a reporter and The New York Times best-selling author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. Reid, who explains complex issues in a clear and engaging way, traveled the world talking to doctors, government officials, health care experts and patients as he searched for international models that could work in America's health care system.

Author and futurist Ian Morrison, a popular speaker at the 2011 PDC Summit, will mediate a town hall-style session following Reid's address and again will serve as the conference emcee.

The devastating effects of the deadly May 22 tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., will be the focus of another session. Attendees will receive a behind-the-scenes look at what happened inside St. John's Regional Medical Center and the challenges employees faced in stabilizing health care services and delivery.

While the summit features many high-level discussions on broad health care topics, it also includes case studies and information to help design and construction leaders in their daily work.

For example, one interactive session on hospital metrics will be a discussion about what is really included in the cost of hospital construction projects. Health care executives often ask facility managers about project costs, but knowing what's included in a given price tag can be difficult, says Ken Cates, SASHE, CHC, co-founder of Northstar Management Co., St. Louis. Cates, who chairs the PDC Summit planning committee, says it's easy to ask someone what he paid for a car, but it's hard to know what kind of deal he got unless he says whether he bought a Yugo, a Chevy or a Cadillac. The same holds true for hospitals. The metrics session will use real-time, hand-held technology so participants can provide input on what data should be included.

Other sessions include collaboration in the field, clinical redesign, performance metrics, fundamentals of PDC and regulatory topics.

For registration information and other details, visit

This month's column was written by Deanna Martin, senior communications specialist for ASHE.

ASHE insight

Resources available

ASHE offers a number of valuable resources at special prices to professionals in the health care industry.

They include the following:

  • Health Facility Commissioning Guidelines. Written by health care professionals, this resource helps optimize construction or renovation delivery. It enables project teams to deliver cost-effective and efficient health care facilities that yield the desired return on investment. The guidelines can help ensure a suc­cessful transition from construction completion to a sustainable, high-
    performance operation.
  • Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. The 2010 guidelines cover minimum program, space and design needs for all clinical and support areas of hospitals, nursing facilities, freestanding psychiatric facilities, outpatient and rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care facilities. They also include new material on acoustics, patient handling and movement, patient safety, bariatric patient care, cancer treatment and emergency services. For information on purchasing either of these valuable references, click here.