Renovated Space Helps Healthcare Organization With Teaming Efforts

  February 26, 2015

Chase Brexton Health Care purchased and renovated an existing complex of office buildings constructed over a period of 40 years. A wide-ranging change management strategy helped turn that building renovation into a culture change. One key was that the new space improved the ability of staff to work in teams. Here’s how Tracey Gersh, chief program officer, Chase Brexton, describes the difference between old and new spaces:

"The biggest difference is the amount of space. We moved from three buildings in downtown Baltimore. None had been purpose-built for patient care and treatment. We were on top of each other with no room to stretch our arms. Family members couldn't come into the treatment rooms with patients because the rooms were too small (and this an important aspect of medical care in some cultures). The medical providers had their own small room to work in and the medical assistants had theirs, so there was segregation of the team members. Space constraints meant that all the admin support — IT, HR, finance, billings, etc. — was in rented accommodation in a different building with a loss of communication.

"Now we are able to operate a team concept where everyone connected with a patient's treatment — provider, medical assistant, nurse, etc. — is in one team space that has been purposefully designed to make the care process efficient and streamlined. Each team space is big enough to house everyone comfortably in one open area with easy access to treatment rooms. We can work without tripping over each other and operate as integrated teams. Having the admin support teams on site too has made a big difference to operational effectiveness. The treatment rooms are bigger and accommodate family members if they want to accompany the patient.

"It's marvelous the difference having well-thought through, purpose-designed space has made to our ability to offer healthcare to our community."

This brief comes from Naomi Stanford, author of Organizational Health.

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