When you are busy delivering a healthcare project, it can feel like there are too many activities and stakeholders demanding your attention. However, there is one stakeholder who is critical to the success of the project – the healthcare administrator. They have an insight into what will help make a patient-centered facility for their customers. Only by working effectively with them will you be able to truly deliver a project that is focused on a good patient experience. Here’s how to do that.
Stop and Think
The first step is to find some time in your hectic schedule to clear your head and put all the day-to- day tasks to one side for a moment. Use this time to try to understand the problems that the administrator and their team are facing on a daily basis. Also make time to understand their mission statement, strategy, brand, and what centers of excellence they are members of. Think about what this says about the kind of facility they would want or need to operate, and what they would need to do to achieve this. When you put yourselves in their shoes like this, it is easier to see the project from their perspective.
Tap into Their Experience
Keep communication a two-way street between you. Make sure that you tap into their needs and experiences, as well as those of their team, such as security personnel, facilities managers, and staff members. Ask for any patient feedback information they have, and work with them to identify ways to address any concerns that are raised. Simply building a new space that gets handed over to the facilities manager to manage afterwards won’t lead to better healthcare. Make sure that the administrator and their team are heard, their needs for the facility are met, and their ideas are incorporated into the project.
Answer Their Problems
These days, healthcare is a business. The administrators have a big job in front of them, trying to find a way to provide the best service for their patients while also making money. That means you have to help them determine the return on investment for any solutions your team proposes. They will want to understand all the numbers behind your thinking and planning, so be prepared with this information when you are presenting solutions. Essentially, once you’ve crunched the numbers, you should be presenting them with an a la carte menu of solutions for their healthcare facility that they can choose from.
More Than a Stakeholder
When you use this approach, the healthcare administrator becomes more than just someone you hand the project over to, they become part of the team. A Healthy Team doing their best work and contributing ideas to help you build a patient-centered facility for the future. Setting the tone of the project early with an inclusive approach will help draw out and implement these ideas, creating better project outcomes for everyone. You can read more about how to create a Healthy Team, one of the 3 Principles of my Health Well Done approach, in my book, Health Well Done: A Patient-Centered Management Approach to Building Healthcare Environments.