Our Healthcare Planning team has a unique role in the healthcare design and architecture industry. Outside of planning what equipment should be used in each unique situation, Cripe’s Healthcare Planning team is also often in charge of project and move/relocation management.

We have enhanced our Healthcare Planning team by adding clinical expertise, Erin Purcell, RN, MHA. Erin has nearly 20 years of hands on experience in a hospital as both a clinician and a project coordinator. This was a dynamic move that has and will continue to aid our team. Having a clinician on staff is one of the many things that differentiates Cripe from other firms. We now have an insider’s understanding of the healthcare system that can only come with years of hands on experience.

In both her previous role and with Cripe, Erin utilizes Lean Methodology and her Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate to manage and facilitate the creation of workflows, design, construction, activation and go-live of the project team.

Having a clinician on our team opens so many doors of comprehension between the design and planning team and the hospital staff. Both parties are more easily able to understand one another. They are also able to communicate their unique needs, confident that those needs will be appreciated. This puts everyone involved on more solid ground and closes the gap for misunderstandings.

“The ultimate goal of any project is to bring a vision to life through design. This can be quite complicated in healthcare as you often have two groups (design team and clinicians) that speak very different languages. Being the go between often requires wearing several hats: educator, translator, coordinator, advocate, facilitator and resource as you navigate through the design process. This collaboration builds relationships and trust, let’s all involved feel they contributed to the success of the project while providing a healing environment for both patients and team members.” – Erin Purcell, RN, MHA

Below are some ways in which our team now utilizes the clinician’s point of view and experience to enhance the design process overall:

How can a clinician be utilized throughout the design process?

Schematic Design:
• Help develop functional narrative
• Educate providers on process, phases and activities
• Evaluate schematic design (SD) to ensure clinician’s input has been included
• Collect feedback and summarize for design teams
• Work with clinicians to evaluate new proposed layout and identify areas for
• Improve on old processes
• Record to assure these are carried over to clinical activation

Detailed Design:
• Help clinicians understand equipment and design choices
• Facilitate Decision making and acceptance process
• Ensure coordination with communication systems
• Nurse call, infant security, patient video monitoring, wireless devices, central
displays, etc.
• Help establish communication plan-graphics, newsletter, etc.

How can a clinician’s input be valuable in areas not known as part of the traditional design process?

Transition Planning:
• Enact and verify operational processes defined during design process
• Assistance coordinating operational planning teams
• Assist with day in the life (DIL) planning and execution

Patient Moves:
• Create move sequencing schedule and logistics

• Create and lead command center
• Go live support
• Daily reports to leadership

• Create and oversee decommissioning plan

Post Occupancy Evaluation:
• Follow up surveys, interviews, observations, to determine success of project




A little about Cripe’s clinician on staff, Erin Purcell, RN, MHA:

Erin Purcell, RN, MHA, worked for 11 years as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse where she created individualized healthcare plans for patients. Erin helped design current and future state workflows that informed the design for the Simon Family Tower at Riley. This turned into a full-time position on the Simon Family Tower project team.

Erin has brought an entirely unique background to Cripe and specifically the Healthcare Planning team. We have always understood our clients and the unique challenges that can be present when working in the healthcare system.

Things are ever changing in our world right now and that is even more true in the healthcare world, however Cripe is committed to always understanding the unique challenges and visions of each client. We are always making strides to be the best client advocates we can be and Erin is proof of that as she understand both sides of these healthcare planning projects from both the clinician and planning side.

A lot has changed in a very short amount of time for all of us. Businesses around the country have had to do some major maneuvering to keep the health of the employees and clients as the very top priority.

At Cripe, that’s no different. After over a year of extensive research, testing and implementation, we can say that our employees have the ability to work from anywhere. With all the COVID-19 guidelines going into place, that remote capability has never been more important.

Outside of the technology, another thing that Cripe is continuing to utilize is our proven project management skills. Being physically away from our teams and unable to meet with our clients in person has provided new challenges, but it is definitely a challenge we are up for.

We have the methodology – the Cripe Way –  in place to get us through this current challenge and many others, but it is not just a methodology we use when there are extenuating circumstances. This is a way of doing things that we use every single day and have since 1937 when our founder, Paul I. Cripe, created his core principles.

The Cripe Way stems from Mr. Cripe’s deep belief in Accountability. Over the years, especially with recent staff, it has been turned into an entire project management code of conduct and promise to our clients that we will get any job done with communication and efficiency.

Mr. Cripe may not have expected for his core principle of Accountability to be utilized during a time like the one we are living in now, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. The beauty of the Cripe Way is that it works all the time, no matter what is going on in the office or the world at large, as we are learning now.

Above all else, the Cripe Way stresses the importance of planning, communication and meetings with clients so that we know exactly what our clients need , schedules to keep everyone and budgets on track, quality control along the way to ensure efficiency and understanding not only our client’s businesses, but their perspectives as well. The only thing that has changed are our meeting spaces and perhaps managing how to work with partners, children and pets, but those things are no match for the Cripe Way and the project management skills Cripe employees have been sharpening for the last 83 years.

We don’t only use these skills externally, but internally as well. We’ve been keeping connected with our colleagues through virtual meetings and sharing tips and tricks for the unique challenges that working from home can pose. From technology tips to potty training to setting up effective workspaces we’ve shared it all!

The Cripe Way allows room for us to feel like a family. These aren’t cold rules that are only intended for projects, they allow our team to act as a family to one another and to those outside our team who are also working through a wide range of unique situations during this uncertain time.

While many things have changed, some have not. You can still find our field survey team out and about in Indianapolis and surrounding areas putting the Cripe Way to good use as they continue to tend to essential business outside while all is quiet.

This time has been challenging for most people, but Cripe is using foundations that were put in place over 80 years ago to continue to serve our clients, partners and colleagues to continue to not only get the job done, but to get it done with the same excellent project management skills that our clients and partners have come to know and rely on over the years.