Promising Practices in Safety-Net Clinic Design

Center for Health Design


This is archived content; for historical reference only.

With an allocation of $1.5 billion from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) designated for health center infrastructure, safety-net clinics have the unique opportunity to think about how they can provide greater access to care, better patient experiences, and improved staff satisfaction and organizational outcomes.

However, the gap between the available funding and the anticipated need will necessitate carefully planned use of limited funds in clinic design projects. A review of the literature on ambulatory care clinics, conducted by The Center for Health Design in 2008, demonstrated that little information is available on the effects of safety-net clinic design on patients, staff, and organizational outcomes.

Seminar on Promising Practices in Community Clinic Design

The Center for Health Design, with support from CHCF, hosted a seminar on evidence-based design for community clinics on April 5, 2011. Participants discussed industry benchmarks and process milestones and how to document investment returns. Recordings of the seminar sessions are available at the Clinic Design website.

To help inform and educate all participants in the clinic design process, three publications were developed based on literature reviews, interviews, and visits to exemplary health centers and clinics. The papers suggest a range of design strategies for building and renovating safety-net clinics, with special attention to health care interactions, patient flow, and the use of new technology:

  • Designing Safety-Net Clinics for Innovative Care Delivery Models
  • Designing Safety-Net Clinics for Flexibility
  • Designing Safety-Net Clinics for Cultural Sensitivity

To help place these publications in context, an introductory paper, Promising Practices in Safety-Net Clinic Design: An Overview, summarizes the concepts presented in the research. The four papers are available as Document Downloads.

A dedicated website was developed to provide further resources. It is available through the External Link below.