Collaboration, flexibility, and variety are key to new outpatient spaces.
In the most recent issue of Health Facilities Management, Jocelyn Stroupe, Director of Healthcare Interiors for CannonDesign, highlights some of the key considerations for designing collaborative ambulatory space. Citing the shift in outpatient care delivery models to be more responsive to patient-centered care and to support population health, Stroupe shared how more and more healthcare organizations are rethinking staff spaces to better facilitate collaboration and operational efficiency. Key excerpts include:
On In-Clinic Activity
Spaces that facilitate in-clinic activity are potentially the most difficult workspaces to design because they need to accommodate many different functions. Input from many users is required to understand the ideal location of work spaces in relation to the exam rooms, as well as the configurations and options that should be available to workers in these spaces to accomplish different types of tasks.
- At the UMN Health Clinics and Surgery Center, collaboration spaces are located in the middle of each clinic module and used by the care and research teams while they are in the clinic seeing patients. These are spaces where work related to patient care, including teaching, research, treatment plans and interprofessional collaboration, is conducted.
- At the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Center for Advanced Care, which opened in October, multiple work rooms centrally located in each of the facility’s six clinics accommodate faculty and staff. These spaces position staff in the hub of clinic activity. This central location creates shorter travel distances for staff and quicker access to patients.
On Out-of-Clinic Activity
Just as important as supporting in-clinic functions are the spaces that support out-of-clinic functions. These spaces provide areas for respite, informal meetings or work.
- At UMN Health Clinics and Surgery Center, the staff lounges on each floor are vertically connected, promoting a sense of community within the building. These spaces are designed with flexibility to host large staff meetings and also to serve as formal conference rooms. The staff lounges allow for interactions with others who work in the building that otherwise may not occur, serving to break down silos and promote a collaborative environment.
On Transition Planning
For many organizations, emerging care delivery models that depend on redefining clinician roles are in conflict with the organization’s traditional culture, making change management challenging. Any time a move occurs, and in particular one with radical change in operations, a transition plan is a necessary component to manage the change. Too often, it is overlooked or starts too late in the process.