Design For Lean - Healthcare Architecural Planning Focused on the Customer

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Service Excellence

Mark Vaughan
Principal, WHR Architects, Inc.

Rainer Dronzek
Vice President, Automation Associates, Inc.

Design for Lean (DFL) considers the operational end state and customer focus of healthcare facilities during upfront architectural planning and design. Through photos, drawings, detailed process steps and computer simulation modeling, this case study of an emergency department redesign in Bryan, Texas will illustrate the concepts involved and their practical application.

Designing healthcare environments with Lean principles in mind ensures spaces are patient and provider friendly, support the latest technologies and exceed stakeholder expectations for 21st century healthcare delivery. This presentation introduces the concept of Design For Lean, a marriage between architectural design and operational process design. The complexities of a highly variable patient stream into healthcare provider systems and the variability in provider capability call for the use of more sophistication than just leaning out the processes. This case study will show the powerful analytical combination of Lean and computer based simulation to drive process and architectural design with a high degree of confidence for predicting throughput, reducing wait times and more accurately planning the staffing modes and patterns. Finally, the connection between form and function for the final design and build are more clearly recognized and addressed through space planning, development of adjacent spaces, the facility Master Plan, integration of future business lines and changes in demographics and volume/acuity patterns.