Avoid Healthcare Project Aggravation with 3 Key Skills

The reality of healthcare is that we are no longer the “Fixers” – we are the “Preventers”.

We live in a patient-centric economy that is value based and requires constant performance improvement based on the HCAHPS’s surveys – which aid in our ability to enhance the patient experience and prevent disease – and better planning which strategically includes groups from two disciplines: medical professionals (including nurses and doctors), and design & construction professionals. Integrating and blending these two areas of expertise brings critical perspectives to the health care project – one knows the work, daily functions, and culture of the building and the other knows how to design and build the building.

“If you have one without the other, you run the real chance of designing a building that no one can use”, says Pamela Thompson, CEO AONE and SVP/CNO AHA.  

From the beginning of a project, you need to have the right people sharing wisdom and experience. The right people need to arrive with the correct leadership skills, including the 3 key skills needed to keep aggravation low in the planning, implementation, and construction phases of a project – Compassionate, Collaborative and Innovative thinking.


Key Skill 1: Compassion


Being compassionate means understanding the culture of the healthcare system, the patients, and the healthcare professionals, as well as how they all function together to ensure better patient outcomes and experiences. Once you understand the process of caring, you can tap into your natural instinct, expertise, desire to help.


Key Skill 2: Collaboration


Collaboration does not happen magically. Finding common ground is a good beginning. For example: “nurses are trained to assess, plan, design and implement solutions as a caregiver” says Debbie Gregory, SN, BR.N., DNP(c), senior clinical consultant for the technology group at engineering design and facility consulting services firm Smith Seckman Reid Inc. Having tools and techniques to collaborate with a group of people helps to improve this skill on a daily basis. Collaboration is an art and you only get better with practice.


Key Skill 3: Innovation


Through collaboration, we have clarity on what we need to improve and why. Alignment and development of the ideas are key. Ideas take time to develop – you need to research, take a risk and put them out there to fail, and then bring them back for improvement and try again.


Compassion, Collaboration, and Innovation are key in the day-to-day success of creating a culture of health and building a suitable environment for the culture to prosper. Much of this success is dependent on improved methods of providing care. When you begin a project and don’t have the right team to begin with, you miss critical wisdom and experience which can negatively impact patient care. If you do have the right people on the team, but lack the communication and leadership skills to consider all of the voices involved, you waste resources and money.

One of the worst experiences you can ever have as a design or construction professional is having the administrative or medical professionals begin working in the newly built environment and say: “What was the design team thinking? This does not work to serve our patients”. Compassion, Collaboration, and Innovation keep the aggravation level low and the benefits of your design high when you are involved in building a patient-centered environment in today’s patient-centered economy.

Ask Yourself:

How can you help your team implement these 3 key skillsCompassion, Collaboration, and Innovation – into your health care project or environment?

I look forward to reading about how you integrate these skills in the comments.

See you in my next blog post!