Leading the Way: Jen Minotas reflects on the MillerKnoll Symposium for Healthcare Design and Key Insights from 2023

I had the pleasure of participating in the MillerKnoll Leader to Leader Symposium, an annual event held in Chicago that brings together some of the brightest minds in our industry. As I returned to Cleveland, the experience left me brimming with empowerment and enlightenment, igniting a newfound drive to revolutionize our approach to project delivery.

Being invited to this event, which was attended by a dynamic mix of industry disruptors, game-changers, and frontrunners—including Chief Nursing Executives, Design Strategists, Healthcare Economists, and Design Practice Leaders—was truly an honor. These individuals stand at the forefront of healthcare's future, and I felt privileged to share their company and insights.

In our world of design and architecture, it's easy to become engrossed in our specialized field, losing sight of the extensive array of challenges confronting the healthcare industry as a whole. In an era marked by escalating healthcare costs and fiscal hardships faced by numerous institutions, we play a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency of design and project delivery, thereby contributing to the affordability and accessibility of healthcare. It is our duty to shape processes and project executions, ultimately rendering healthcare more cost-effective and attainable for all.

The Symposium unveiled the MillerKnoll Voices of the Healthcare Industry: 2023 Insight Report. This comprehensive document sheds light on the future of healthcare design, emphasizing key areas:

Integrate People, Process, and Place: Creating a holistic approach to healthcare by merging various elements harmoniously.

Merge Care Quality and Experience: Ensuring that healthcare is not just effective but also a comfortable experience for patients.

Focus on Staff Support: Recognizing the importance of supporting our healthcare staff in every possible manner.

Shift from Break to Respite: Redefining relaxation zones for healthcare workers, ensuring genuine rest and rejuvenation.

Elevate the Experience of Care: Making every interaction in the healthcare journey memorable and pleasant.

Reduce the Cognitive Burden: Simplifying processes to ensure efficiency and reduce stress.

Design for People: Prioritizing the human experience above all in design processes.

The entire report is available for download here.

One particular facet of the symposium struck a profound chord within me, and that was the unwavering commitment by all of us to do our part in forging equitable healthcare environments. Healthcare equity in design directly affects the accessibility and quality of healthcare services for all individuals, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. As architects and designers, we play a pivotal role in shaping the physical environments where healthcare is delivered. By prioritizing inclusivity, cultural sensitivity, and accessibility in our design work, we have the ability to create spaces that reduce barriers to care and foster a sense of belonging for diverse patient populations.

Thoughtful design can improve patient outcomes, enhance the overall healthcare experience, and contribute to more efficient and cost-effective healthcare delivery. The dialogues that took place during the event revolved around the mission of closing the gaps in healthcare access, a mission that holds immense personal significance for me and perfectly aligns with the fundamental values and principles that define +Detail.

The backdrop to all these insightful discussions showcased the iconic MillerKnoll showrooms in Chicago. Each corner of the showroom echoed the legacy of the companies housed within, adding another layer of depth to our conversations. My heartfelt thanks to MillerKnoll for hosting us and being a beacon of innovation in healthcare design. Their extensive research and forward-thinking designs make them an invaluable partner for businesses like ours.

To sum it up, the MillerKnoll Leader to Leader Symposium was a journey filled with shared experiences, newfound knowledge, and an opportunity to forge collaborations that might one day reshape the face of healthcare. It reinforced my belief in the power of shared learning, collaboration, and the need to evolve for the betterment of our communities.