Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas

Rogers, Arkansas

Project Info
Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas
Rogers, Arkansas
Completion Date: 2008
Square Footage: 400,000

Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas sought our help in leveraging their opportunity to "do it right." We provided services including operational redefinition, planning, programming and design of a 200-bed replacement campus capable of long-term expansion. The strategic decision to replace the existing facility enabled the health system to define new processes with a focus on operational efficiency and patient safety without defaulting to processes dictated by an existing structure. The design of the hospital campus is a response to a new way of delivering patient care that focuses on flexibility to respond to changing technology, staffing, patient needs and reimbursements. The Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas is part of the Sisters of Mercy System based in St. Louis, Missouri.

The planning process incorporated some methodologies associated with Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), a planning tool typically associated with other industries. The planning work was designed around six phases including problem seeking, visioning, process team design work, process integration, documentation and detailed programming. The planning team initially identified opportunities for operational transformation, which would favorably impact patient safety. Visioning workshops were established with representative members of the corporate system and the hospital including board members, physicians, administration and staff. The visioning workshops yielded a toolkit for the process teams that included team objectives, team structure, roles and expectations, guiding principles, a list of services and discreet processes to be transformed, a written vision statement for each area of transformation, an idea catalog and concept workbook. The services and discreet processes identified offered the most transformational impact for patient safety and staff efficiency.

Multi-disciplinary process teams were established to work with us and the Mercy corporate planners to design new processes. As part of the new process design, traditional assumptions about care delivery were challenged. New processes were designed to replace current state processes and better meet future needs. The planning team integrated design architects to work with the process teams evaluating schematic options and process change implications in real time. The planning process collapsed traditional linear planning and design sequences to integrate team members and synthesize patient safety, strategic, financial, operational and design issues systemically. The result is an operational master plan that continues to serve the Mercy Health System long after this new facility opened.

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