The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) recently published a white paper on the design of behavioral healthcare facilities written by a group of experts in this patient population. This FGI topic group was convened during the 2022 FGI Guidelines revision cycle to develop minimum requirements for design of behavioral health crisis units. Their efforts resulted in design standards with explanatory appendix language in the 2022 edition of both the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Outpatient Facilities.
The topic group also chose to write a white paper to discuss the role of behavioral health crisis units in the provision of behavioral and mental healthcare services and to provide more details about planning and designing these facilities.
“Care settings for behavioral health treatment in the ED should support the safety and welfare of patients and staff,” according to the white paper. “To achieve this, these spaces must be protected from the inherent risks and stress factors that exist in the emergency department at large. Provision of a tailored environment for behavioral healthcare that accommodates a range of behavioral health diagnoses and the various age cohorts seen in this patient census improves outcomes for behavioral health patients and improves the patient experience for other ED patients.”