I’m seeing more and more art consultants and healthcare designers listing themselves as EDAC Certified. EDAC is The Center for Health Design’s program that awards credentials to individuals who can demonstrate that they know how to apply an evidence-based design (EBD) process in healthcare. That means understanding some of the research behind EBD and being able to measure and report results. EDAC stands for “evidence-based design accreditation and certification”. To learn more I contacted Donna Deckard, the director of the EDAC program.
1.Why would someone involved with healthcare art want to be EDAC certified?
The EDAC program teaches people about the evidence-based design process and how to incorporate this process into the design of healthcare facilities. For someone who is involved in the selection of healthcare art or the creation of art, learning how to find and use available research that has been done could help them be better informed by using research about different settings when working with a client. For example, in a case study on our website American Art Resources describes how they designed a survey asking children for their opinion about art. They felt that too often pediatric spaces are designed for children without asking them. what they like. There are also good examples of how different types of art are used in different settings, e.g. emergency room waiting areas or procedure rooms. They may also want to conduct their own research to help document the impact of their own work on improving satisfaction or assisting with way finding or providing a calming and healing environment. The EDAC study guides provide a comprehensive review of the eight steps to use in implementing evidence-based design and passing the exam let’s others know that you have the base knowledge about this process.
2. What has changed with EDAC since our blog post on the topic in 2009?
So much has happened. The program continues to grow every year. EDAC is now an internationally recognized program that awards credentials to those that have passed the examination in the United States, Canada and other countries e.g Denmark, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil, Turkey and Hong Kong. The EDAC appellation is a known credential in the industry and today many healthcare organizations are requesting EDAC certified individuals in their RFPs when selecting individuals and firms for their projects. Many schools are incorporating evidence-based design as part of their core curriculum and many students are graduating with the EDAC credential.
The program is now testing individuals on its second test form and will be developing a new test form that will be released in 2015. We are finalizing and printing the Third Edition for all three Study Guides.
3. How many people are EDAC certified?
Currently there are 1,723 EDAC certified individuals. Approximately 66% of those individuals are architects and designers.
Can you tell how many people dealing with healthcare fine art are EDAC certified? For example: Art Consultants, Gallery/Frame shops, Artists and Interior Designers who put together art projects.
I don’t know that I can break this group out into the detail that you asked about.
How many companies are EDAC certified (or is there such a thing?)
We have EDAC Champion and Advocate firms who commit to having 25% of their healthcare teams become EDAC certified and actively incorporate EDB in their healthcare projects. The Champion firms were the first group to do this when we started the EDAC program and then we began to recruit Advocate firms and have continued to add more each year. There are 6 Champion firms and 36 Advocate firms.
We highlight many of their projects annually in the EDAC Champion and Advocate Brochure which you can view on our website under the EDAC tab under Resources. There are many wonderful case studies that highlight the use of art in their projects and most of them have evaluated the results. In the 2014 brochure take a look at MD Anderson Children’s Hospital done by American Art Resources, Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Health System, Cama, Inc., Winnipeg Health Sciences Center and Parkin Architects Limited to name a few. In 2013 take a look at the Jaynesville Medical Campus, Erdman, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Skyline Art Services, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, American Art Resources and El Paso Children’s Hospital, Cama, Inc. The earlier brochures have some great examples as well.
The brochure also lists the names of the Champion and Advocate firms. Many of the large firms have over 100 EDAC certified individuals.
4. Does EDAC testing deal with Evidence-based Art?
No. The EDAC exam doesn’t test about specific research. The goal of the program is test an individual’s base knowledge and understanding about the evidence-based design process and how to apply that process and integrate it into the traditional design process for a variety of healthcare environments. You will see in the brochure that the projects include inpatient, ambulatory and residential care. A project that incorporates the EBD process can address improvements in all three areas of safety (patient, staff and the environment.)
As a reminder there are several key differences between EBD and the typical project design process. First the EBD process makes a deliberate attempt to address the key trends and challenges in healthcare by developing design strategies targeted to improve clinical, environmental and safety outcomes.
Another key difference is that relevant research is used to educate the project team and to guide the development of design strategies to help achieve better outcomes.
Finally, once a project is completed, post occupancy results are gathered and studied and new research is conducted and the results are documented and shared, adding to the body of knowledge in the industry. As you can see from some of the case studies that reference in the brochure most of these organizations are setting goals, using available research and then studying the impact of their design decisions on outcomes and satisfaction.
5. How does one go about getting EDAC certification these days?
There are six simple steps to EDAC Certification:
- Purchase and read the EDAC study guides. These three guides provide everything one needs to know in order to pass the exam (the first book is free)
- Download and read the Candidate Handbook. This handbook provides information on test policies, fees, registration, locations, scoring and certification.
- Complete and submit an exam application at Castle Worldwide, the psychometric firm that administers the exam
- Review the Exam Content Outline. Use the outline alongside the study guides to understand what is most important to study. All of the questions are derived from this outline and the five domains listed on the outline
- Take the Sample Exam to assess your readiness for the actual exam.
- Schedule EDAC exam date and location.
6. What else should I tell my readers about EDAC?
Most of the answers to their questions can be found on the EDAC website. I would also emphasize the important role that art plays in the design of the healthcare environment and I think the examples that I sent you really demonstrate that art as a bundle with the other strategies can impact outcomes. People can use the EBD process to illustrate that point and most of all to evaluate their results and share the learning with the industry.
A) I would love to have you tell them about a new resource!! The Center for Health Design just released an exam prep video series that for people preparing for the exam. The videos are a replica of a live exam prep session that we have conducted at conference and at different times during the year and have found that people who participated in these sessions had a higher passing rate. There are three 30+ minute videos that provide information about the exam, an overview of the study guides and a review of the sample questions. The videos can be rented for 1 week, 1 month or 3 months.
B) Another great new resource that people can use to find evidence is the Knowledge Repository which can be found on The Center for Health Design’s website. This repository contains healthcare design research, papers, articles and references, allowing users to search publications by type, terms, design category, outcome category, environmental condition category or setting, and provides the number of references available for each defined category. The results appear with the most recent references at the top of the page.
There are easy-to-use key point summaries available providing users the ability to easily and quickly review important concepts found in each of these articles, such as findings and design implications. Designed as a living library, this repository provides a one-stop, source of healthcare EBD research, and will continue to grow and develop as healthcare design evolves.
C) Many people have asked about the differences between EDAC and Lean or how they work together. EDAC complements other industry professional credentials and the Lean process. Lean is about eliminating waste and improving workflow and processes that create more value. An EBD process should incorporate the results learned from using LEAN methods. They should be considered symbiotic approaches to achieving better design. Again in the brochure, you will see great examples of how people have used both in the design of their healthcare projects.
D) Finally, we want to harness the knowledge and energy from the EDAC community and will be spending more time to start conversations and build the community on the LinkedIn site in the near future.
Click here to go to the official EDAC website to learn more.