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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
change
• 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

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

Decommissioning:
• 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.

  1. Advocate – noun – a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

synonyms: champion · upholder · supporter · backer · promoter · proponent

At Cripe, we take the above definition very seriously. First and foremost, we are client advocates. With new and returning clients, we learn their unique stories, histories and needs for each and every project. We do this whether we’ve worked with that client on multiple projects or if it’s the very first one. We don’t have cookie cutter responses that fit every client.

Through our project management model, the Cripe Way, we schedule meetings throughout the entire process because we know that needs can change. Communication channels are always open between Cripe and the client.

We are advocates for our clients by maintaining positive working relationships with our elected officials and community agencies. Cripe not only believes in relationships with our clients, but also with other entities that can make the processes smoother for our clients and ourselves.

Recently, we were contacted by a past client to assist with solving a civil engineering project problem.  For context, this past client already had an architect, civil engineer, and surveyor.  In other words, there was no immediate motivation to help solve their problem.  However, because of our belief in advocating for our clients past, present, and future, we used our network and positive relationship with the local utility department to assist this past client and were able to reach a solution that assisted them and ultimately advanced their project.

We are advocates for our clients in that we maintain positive relationships with our subcontractors, allied professionals and even our competitors.

Another recent example would be being contacted by a client to submit a proposal for a project that we could not assist them with at the time.  We referred the client to a competing firm who was able to submit a proposal and complete the work.  In the broader view of things, this was a win. Similarly, we have been contacted on more than one occasion to quietly support strategic partners with survey, civil and architectural services while being sensitive to their client relationship.

We are advocates for our community and clients in the causes we support. We like to support those groups that support our community.  A few examples include the Cripe Hob Nob Policy Intern Scholarship we give in partnership with the Indy Chamber and our CEO’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Not only have we done work for the latter organization, but our CEO and other members of our staff have participated in the program as mentors.

 

 

At Cripe, as Employee Owners, our advocacy extends to our teammates, which is illustrated from our culture and a firm belief that in taking care of our people we provide the best service to our clients.

Our vision statement says it all, Cripe is an award-winning Indiana MBE multidisciplinary design firm. We are problem solvers, servant leaders and client advocates. We listen to understand in order to consistently deliver high quality design solutions.

Two Words…….Purposeful Design

Today’s landscape in the healthcare market is quite the contrast from years ago.  The reduced reimbursements and increased patient population from the affordable care act has prompted two words to dominate the environment – “Purposeful Design”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) sets limits on the amount that can be charged in various situations and ties Medicare reimbursement levels to performance.

If an organization wants a bigger slice of market then they need to offer more beds, more operating rooms, more outpatient and ambulatory facilities and more medical office space. But to maximize profit margins, they need to keep costs to a minimum.

The way to balance the opposing goals of growth is to renovate existing facilities to be purposeful design whenever possible, and when expansion is necessary, to carry it out in ways that minimize expense and maximize the efficiency of physicians, nurses and medical staff.  A better way of saying it – we have to get more out of less.

Let’s take a look at big piece of the equation – medical equipment.  As the 3rd largest investment of an organization, next to staff and the operational costs of the facility, medical equipment is the focal point for discussion.  Medical equipment planners no longer have the luxury of equipping at the Taj Mahal – no expense spared level – with the latest and greatest widget or gadget just to exceed the ever demanding needs of the physician or staff.  We must embrace the process of providing a solution that encompasses operational efficiency.

Developing a process of “choosing by advantage” we have allowed ourselves to be the center point of ongoing discussions.  Equipment selection should take into account and include the following:

  1. Clinical Staff – Develop and understanding of functionality needed. Facilitating these conversations to provide the product that best fits the clinical objective.  No longer can you provide the Cadillac when the Kia will fit just fine.
  1. Biomedical Engineering – Create a working relationship that takes into account the serviceability, lifespan and the hospital standardizations while selecting equipment. If we are going to plan it…..better be sure they can support it.
  2. Facility Maintenance – Discuss and determine ongoing maintenance concerns and objectives. Accommodating the long term plan of the facility often times leads to more gainful life of the medical equipment.
  1. Supply Chain Management – Leverage the purchasing power. Whether it’s a single facility or an extensive network, utilize the power multiple vendors and bids to obtain pricing that works.  Although it’s not the only criteria, pricing is still a major component.
  1. Design and Construction – As the design unfolds, its critical to consider utilization of equipment in process improvement. Proper work flow analysis and through-put modeling can achieve the right item for the proper situation.
  1. The Patient – Improving patient outcomes has been, and always will be the objective. Utilizing Patient focus groups develops a culture of understanding and engagement of the patient.  The patients input are as valuable as all other components.

Integrating all parties in the decision making process not only provides a purposeful design solution that reduces costs and space, but provides an outcome that contains the “buy-in” of all.

When planning equipment for your next facility “purposeful design” is not only an option – it’s the Cripe Way.

Written By:  Dale Vogel, Senior Healthcare Project Manager