Community contributes opinions on hospital design
In a warehouse on the far east side of the city, dozens of individuals have been working together to piece together the city’s new hospital. The Five Hills Health Region’s new hospital is slowly starting to take shape. Over the course of five intensive days, more than 40 people from all areas of healthcare came together for a second “3P” (production preparation process) session. The session involved everyone splitting into two teams to come up with plans for two of the hospital’s floors, as well as devising mock-ups of what the rooms might look like. Project architects will now try to come up with plans based on these models. They will meet with team members every few weeks to discuss the project and to raise any concerns. The areas of the hospital that were focused on included ICU, mental health, women’s health and pediatrics. On June 15 dozens of guests were invited to the warehouse to see what work had been done, as team members showed off large models of the proposed floor plans, as well as explaining the design process. Guests were also allowed to walk through mock-ups of the rooms. It was stressed that everything was designed to maximize flow and efficiency, in keeping with the hospital project’s “lean” concept. “The end goal is for everyone that is going to either provide care in the new hospital or receive the care, in terms of our patients and families, that they are informing our architects what their needs are. You heard a lot of them talking about flow, and that’s really the fundamental goal,” said John Ligouri, executive director of the hospital project. “The fundamental concept is that the staff... are defining how they need to do their work and what they need in order for them to be successful and provide that care.” The process included patients and their families, allowing them to provide their input as to what the hospital needs. “You can’t overemphasize enough the critical role of the patients and their family members because this is what it’s all about; this is who is going to benefit from this, and we need to hear their voices,” said Ligouri. “With this concept, you can see the staff, physicians and patients can actually walk through the rooms. And a nurse can say, ‘This piece of equipment that is critical to either receiving or providing the care works really well.’ But the patient might say, ‘Yeah, but you know it’s kind of in my way when I’m not feeling well and I’m a little disoriented from the medications and I need to get to the bathroom.’ So we hear those comments and we can fix them and we can improve the design, so that when we’re actually functioning, and working, and providing care in those spaces that the problem is solved.” Another 3P project will be held in the fall and Ligouri says that everything is currently on schedule with the project. “In previous attempts to design healthcare facilities I think it would be fair to say that it was driven perhaps more by architects and a little bit by the owners and the folks who were going to work in it, but not to the degree that we’re seeing now. So that’s fundamentally the main difference and the biggest benefit to us is that the people that are going to be impacted once the facility opens, they’re having a huge say in how it’s going to be designed and ultimately built.”
Showing off the floorplan for one of the floors of the new hospital.