Designing the Perfect Inpatient Unit from Your Feedback

I’m on  a 3P this week. 3P stands for Production, Preparation, and Process. It’s a workshop of about 16 of us who have come together for one week to transform the way we deliver care. This week we get to design a new inpatient unit: what the layout of the space will be, what will be included in the layout of the rooms, and what processes happen on the unit.

What’s cool about this process is the amount of creativity it allows: for the first four days, we are encouraged to keep pushing the boundaries of our ideas on how to improve care, in order in the end to come up with something truly innovative yet doable.

The other really cool thing about this process is that fact that we use people who actually deliver the care, alongside architects, to design and create the space. This ensures that the form will follow the function, and not the other way around. Too often we let the space define the process, instead of allowing the processes done within the space to design how to build the space to begin with.

To get the creative juices flowing this morning we broke into three groups: the family group, the patient group, and the provider group.  Each group then designed a room out of cardboard boxes that would accommodate the needs of their represented group. So many ideas came spontaneously out of being in “play” mode and allowing our imaginations to take over with thoughts springing from, “What if we…?”  It’s amazing the energy that is created off of multiple imaginations colliding.

Tomorrow I will go visit patients. I will ask them: “What are you missing? What would make this stay more comfortable for you? How could this space better fit your needs?” Their voice needs to be loud and clear in this process. If you’ve ever been a patient, I’d love your input.

And finally, from a caregiver perspective, what would make the space you work everyday more functional? What would give you back the gift of time with your patients in order to foster more connection? What waste exists in your current layout and processes that could be eliminated with a clean slate?

I’ll be sure to take your ideas back to the team!

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