Medical Construction & Design

JUL-AUG 2015

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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determine the scope of repairs needed. Having a plan and acting quickly ensured the staf and patients were safe during the hurricane and the VA could begin recovery ef orts as soon as possible once the storm passed. Other healthcare organizations should follow suit and develop plans now to be prepared for any future catastrophic weather events. Think beyond recovery There are no positives to glean from natural disasters, but recovery ef orts are also times for healthcare organizations to invest in facility improvements. Along with the myriad reconstruction ef orts the Manhattan VAMC took on after the storm, it also chose to: > Construct a permanent fl oodwall to protect the three sides of the campus exposed to fl ood-level waters > Renovate medical-surgical inpatient services on the 4th and 8th fl oors > Renovate inpatient behavioral health services on the 17th fl oor > Create a raised generator building and switchgear rooms and replace under- ground fuel tanks > Renovate or upgrade several other in- frastructure and system components Thinking beyond simply recovering in the aftermath of a storm helps organizations #2 The United States ranks second among countries with the most natural disasters. 104 During 1900-2013, about 104 tropical cyclones hit the U.S. coast and were registered by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. strengthen care delivery and better pre- pare for future weather events. Share recovery responsibilities Storms the size of Sandy can cause widespread damage to facilities that will take years to fully repair. One of the best strategies for speeding up the recovery process is assigning dif erent recovery tasks to several design or construction fi rms. By spreading out responsibilities for the recovery ef ort, healthcare organiza- tions can ensure dif erent processes are underway at the same time and maximize ef ciency. This strategic ef ort can save months in the recovery period and allow facilities to begin caring for patients again as soon as possible. Rehearsal of concept drills Whenever there are numerous organiza- tions all working on a design/construction ef ort, one of the best ways to ensure prog- ress, design excellence and care improve- ment is implementing rehearsal of concept drills. The ROC is an important tool mili- tary commanders use to successfully plan and execute highly complex ef orts. For the military, ROC is an opportunity to brainstorm every possible outcome and/or scenario and then defi ne neces- sary roles and streamlined processes for success. With the Manhattan VAMC ef ort, this meant establishing regular ROC meetings with all the designers, stakehold- ers, supporting staf , union representatives, clinical staf and representatives from the VA in Washington. These ROC meetings are opportunities to identify and mitigate risks, perform assessments of best prac- tices and recommend ef ciency methods to maintain the complex work scheduled. One of the keys to holding successful ROC meetings is ensuring everyone involved has a role and is responsible for raising the necessary questions their group needs to have answered to ensure work is coor- dinated with the others. When executed successfully, ROC can be a powerful tool to keep work on track and coordinated. Integrate pull planning Organizations that implement ROC in their complex recovery ef orts should also consider integrating pull planning to ensure coordination ef orts run smoothly. Pull planning is a tool that helps complex projects stay successful as it works back- ward from the completion date to improve allocation of resources, reduce lead times, eliminate waste and redundancy and out- line the steps each group will take. Pull planning is also highly visual, as it requires the inclusion of a massive calen- dar at ROC meetings showing each month of the recovery ef ort timeline. Each orga- nization involved in the ef ort is assigned a specifi c sticky note color and, as they are assigned activities, those color notes are placed on the master calendar to ensure everyone knows their role in keeping the overall team on track. The combination of ROC and pull planning makes workfl ows more reliable and ef cient throughout a recovery ef ort. Storms capable of causing destruction on the size and scale of Hurricane Sandy will always challenge organizations in their path. There are no positives to be taken from storms like Sandy, but as the VAMC has proved — there are ways for healthcare or- ganizations to move forward that empower recovery and care improvement and ensure better outcomes every day. Richard Kahn, AIA, LEED AP, is a principal for CannonDesign's healthcare practice. BUILDING CARE & OPERATIONS ISSUE FOCUS 28 Medical Construction & Design | J U LY/AUGUST 2015 | MCDM AG.COM

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