Enhancing Capital Facility Improvement Outcomes
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
We’ve all heard the old adage “Sometimes it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees”, however I would argue that sometimes the trees can be lost within this forest. As Program Managers, we face this challenge during large scale capital improvement projects as the core team’s primary mission is to:
Adhere to the guiding principles/goals of the project
Maintain the budget & schedule
Delivery a quality end product.
Without additional processes, the detailed elements that can transform a project from Good to Great can be lost. Engagement of ancillary user groups and community members in the programming and design process can play a significant role in mitigating this risk while improving overall facility product outcomes. In addition, feedback from key stakeholder, user groups of the facilities , executive leadership and department directors, including front-line staff members in the details of the design process can be critical to the facility’s outcome. Not only is the facility then designed with a comprehensive approach, but the process can also accommodate the implementation and buy in of new operational processes that often go hand in hand with capital projects.
Additionally, let’s not forget about the importance of input from external user group committees. Continued community engagement and outreach in the design review process can be paramount to the project’s success. During a recent review of design development floor plans with a Patient Family Advisory board, the group identified the need for self-service nourishment stations and additional small family areas to allow for phone calls and downtime outside of their loved ones patient room. The group was also able to make adjustments to the overhead lighting plan in the exam and patient rooms, allowing for lower level lighting when physician/nurse consults and examinations were not occurring. By incorporating these additional user groups into the design process, the Owner can achieve an enhanced end design that optimizes future operations within the new facility.