The alarming link between C-sections and hospital design

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The size and shape of a labor and delivery unit, the standardization of patient rooms, and the distribution of nursing stations can all influence C-section rates at hospitals. In the United States, one third of babies are born by cesarean delivery; but up to 45% of these surgeries may not medically indicated. The rates of cesarean delivery vary dramatically from hospital to hospital—from a modest 7% at some facilities to a whopping 70% at others. A study conducted by Ariadne Labs, a health system innovation center, and MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture firm, looked at how different aspects of the physical design of a hospital labor and delivery unit could lead to a higher rate of cesarean deliveries. Read Full Story

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Why the world needs innovative design more than ever

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The honorees of the 2020 Innovation by Design Awards showcased extraordinary design ingenuity in the face of a cataclysmic global crisis. Now an even bigger challenge lies ahead. In March, as the coronavirus ravaged Italy, architect and MIT professor Carlo Ratti rallied more than 100 colleagues across four continents to develop connected units for respiratory ailments (CURA), open-source intensive care units built from recycled shipping containers. Designed to relieve the country’s overburdened hospitals, the units could be set up as quickly as a hospital tent, but still meet the strict biocontainment standards of an isolation ward. The first unit opened in Ratti’s native Turin, part of the country’s hard-hit Piedmont region, in April. Others soon followed in Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Read Full Story

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How the COVID-19 pandemic could reshape hospitals

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Future hospitals will be designed with pandemics in mind. As COVID-19 cases fill emergency rooms and intensive care units across the U.S., local officials have been rushing to convert hotels, convention centers, and city parks into new hospital spaces. Amid the scramble, many physicians, architects, and healthcare consultants are already talking about how modern hospital designs could change to avoid a repeat of the current national crisis. Read Full Story

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The first long-distance drone deliveries in the U.S. are bringing PPE to healthcare workers

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Contactless delivery, from the sky. If a hospital in Huntersville, North Carolina needs to quickly replenish its supply of surgical masks and gowns as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it will now be able to summon a drone to make a delivery. Novant Health, the nonprofit that runs the hospital and hundreds of other facilities in the Southeast, just became the first hospital system to be granted a drone operator permit from the FAA. The system will begin the first long-range, ongoing drone deliveries in the U.S., using technology from Zipline, a startup that first launched its services in Africa . Read Full Story

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This DIY kit turns an Ikea box into a mask decontamination unit for hospitals on the brink

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As hospitals run out of protective gear and are forced to use masks over and over, scientists are looking for ways to make masks safer to reuse. This one would let hospitals make a simple machine to squeeze a longer life out of every mask they have. Hospitals still don’t have enough masks for the nurses and doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis—and in the U.S., at least 5,400 healthcare workers have been infected and at least 40 have died. N95 masks aren’t designed to be reusable , but many hospitals are now faced with no other choice. In New York City, nurses have reported being told to use the same mask for five shifts in a row. Read Full Story

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These recycled shipping containers double as intensive care units

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CURA, an open-source design, hopes to expand emergency facilities for hospitals treating coronavirus patients. COVID-19’s rapid spread has strained hospital resources across the globe. Personal protective equipment isn’t being manufactured quickly enough to keep up with demand, and emergency wings are being forced to prioritize high-risk patients while sending milder cases home. While some hospitals are erecting temporary tents to receive more patients, coronavirus is easily transmitted, which means they don’t just need more space but more areas designed for complete isolation. Read Full Story

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Stock futures rise despite jobs report showing worst post-WWII unemployment

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The United States shed 20.5 million jobs in April as the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic tore through the economy. The United States shed 20.5 million jobs in April as the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic tore through the economy and shutdown orders forced business to close their doors. According to the monthly report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in April was a staggering 14.7%, the highest on record in the post-World War II era. Read Full Story

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One of America’s most prestigious design organizations shuts down amid allegations of racism

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Bobby C. Martin Jr., former treasurer of the embattled Type Directors Club, explains the decision: “The only way to dismantle an unequal system is to start fresh.” Last week, the Type Directors Club, one of the most exclusive and prestigious professional design organizations in the United States, announced that it would shut down . The announcement came just two days after board member Juan Villanueva accused the Club of being “ a racist organization ” and submitted his resignation. (TDC claims that financial pressures predating Villanueva’s resignation drove the decision to dismantle the Club.) Here, longtime TDC member and former treasurer Bobby C. Martin Jr. considers the closure—and what should happen next. —The editors Read Full Story

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Can modern art heal? This children’s hospital is betting on it

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Work from the great Bauhaus artists Josef and Anni Albers informs the design of a children’s intensive care unit in London. Cue lots of yellow. In 1810, the German Romantic poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe published his definitive “Theory of Color,” in which he claimed that “We [experience] a very warm and cozy impression with yellow. Thus, in painting, too, it belongs among the luminous and active colors . . . The eye is gladdened, the heart expands, the feelings are cheered, an immediate warmth seems to waft toward us.” This text would ultimately influence the young German-born artist Josef Albers’s understanding of color and how he used it in his work; in a 1968 interview, he said he was “in the yellow period,” which would extend itself through many of his greatest-known works. Read Full Story

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Third-party vs. In-house Delivery: A Guide to Informed Choice

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Posted by MiriamEllis   Image credit: Robert Couse-Baker Before all else, gratitude to every delivery person, whether in-house or third party, doing the essential work of keeping households safer and supplied in these times. I’m dedicating today’s column to the manager of a nearby Sprouts grocery store who personally drove my order to my door when an Instacart driver just couldn’t get the job done. If your business or clients are weighing whether to fulfill delivery in-house or partner with a third party, my small experience is an apt footnote to the huge, emergent debate over last-mile fulfillment options. I’d searched all over town for scarce potatoes, finally arranging by phone with the local Sprouts market to hold their last two bags for me one morning, and texting the Instacart driver about where the spuds were being held. Next: For whatever reason, the driver chose not to retrieve them, …

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