Topic: The Essential Role of Indoor air Quality in Patient Outcomes: New Tools and New Understanding
Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Taylor
Engineers put much thought and work into designing and managing building HVAC systems with the goals of preserving building materials, conserving energy consumption and keeping occupants comfortable. The primary function of most buildings, however, should be to protect the health and safety of people. Paradoxically, the intersection of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and occupant health or disease is one of the least understood subjects in the field of public health! This is not from deliberate neglect of engineers, but from lack of medical research on IAQ and health. Two significant trends are occurring in this century: people spend more and more time indoors, and the incidence of chronic disease is higher than ever before. Are these two factors related? If so, how can indoor air management support occupant health and not promote chronic illnesses?
In this presentation, we will accomplish the following:
1 - Understand the current Indoor Air Quality environment
2 - Present New Research findings on the relationship between indoor air management and patient infections in hospitals. Micro-biome Study will be presented with new data. (in press 2017)
3 - Review existing studies on IAQ and occupant health
4 - Review solutions to improve IAQ and maximize Patient outcomes in Healthcare facilities.
Dr. Stephanie Taylor received her MD from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts in 1984. For the next several decades, she practiced clinical medicine and did academic research in cellular growth mechanisms.
During this time, she became increasingly concerned about the patients who were harmed by medical errors and new infections during their in-patient treatment. Determined to gain a better understanding of the impact of the built environment on patient wellbeing, she returned to school
and obtained her Master's Degree in Architecture and Engineering from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.
After working for several years in an architecture firm which focused on hospital design, she founded Taylor Healthcare Commissioning, Inc., a consulting company that specializes in designing, building and maintaining hospitals and other commercial buildings for optimal occupant safety.
She finds that her physician insights help beyond understanding how spaces are used in healthcare facilities. Her knowledge of the human body helps her envision the ideal building infrastructure. For example, ventilation is needed for the respiratory system while information technology is a
kind of neural network that provides sensory data about the hospital’s internal environment, with all systems working together to support patient healing. Dr. Taylor is currently working on projects that overlay engineering schematics on data about patient outcomes to identify building characteristics —especially management of indoor air quality—associated with changes in the rates of healthcare-associated infections or other adverse outcomes.
She has recently expanded her focus to include occupant wellbeing in all commercial and residential buildings. Dr. Taylor is passionate about the construction industry understanding the tremendous impact of the built environment on occupant health. To communicate the importance
of buildings on health, she writes a monthly column and bi-annual feature articles for Engineered Systems Magazine and other healthcare-related blogs.
Dr. Taylor has designed hospitals globally, from the United States to Papua New Guinea to Vietnam. In addition to her Taylor Healthcare Commissioning work, she is a member of the Harvard Medical School Incite Health Fellowship, a program that brings together multidisciplinary teams from across the US, trains them in design thinking and entrepreneurship,
and gives them the tools and resources to invent the future of primary care.
Dr. Taylor lives in rural Stowe, Vermont with her husband and six dogs. In her spare time, she plays just about all sports. Skydiving, which she does with her son who is in both medical and business graduate school, is a favorite activity.