After a flurry of activity over the last few months, it may seem like all is quiet for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS) project team. But behind the scenes, the project is moving full steam ahead.

Saskatoon Health Region representatives for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan project attended the FSIN Winter Legislative Assembly, February 15-16, 2012. From left to right, Director of Representative Workforce, First Nations and Métis Health Gabe Lafond, Michele Bossaer, Communications Consultant, and Project Lead - Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan Chris Arnold.

“The team has been working hard to finish up this early phase in design,” says Craig Ayers, project director for Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. “This has meant bringing together key information to prepare the report which will signal the end of schematic design. This is important work needed to move the project forward.”

Architects met with 3P teams in mid-January to review preliminary designs and incorporate design tweaks into floor plans. The early designs were a product of the events in November and December where teams of patients and families, staff, physicians and leaders worked together to create design concepts for the units. The concepts focused on removing waste and wait times to improve the experience for patients and families. The design concepts were then translated into actual floor plans. These will form the basis for the schematic design report.

“The schematic design submission is a normal check-point for any major capital project,” explains Ayers. “The purpose of schematic design is to have an overall plan for the building that shows all of the spaces in the right locations and adjacencies, sized such that the plan meets the operational goals while also supporting the efficient patient and clinical flows that have been identified in our planning.”

In the meantime, Saskatoon Health Region has started to move ahead with improvement plans for the new hospital and the Health Region. This includes setting up a Continuous Improvement Promotion Office. The Improvement Office is based on models used by leading health-care organizations working with the lean management system.

Together with expert advisors, the Region is already training Lean Leaders. The first wave is a group of 54 physicians, directors, managers and senior leaders preparing to change the way the Region leads and manages continuous improvement as part of everyday work. As part of the training, Lean Leaders will work on the Region’s first set of rapid process improvement workshops (RPIWs) in 2012. Starting this month, supported by the members of the Improvement Office, Lean Leaders moved ahead with process improvements identified in the CHS 3P events. An RPIW, after four weeks of intense preparation, has a team of patients and family members, staff and clinicians meet for a week, focus on one problem, identify the root causes and create and test solutions. By week’s end, the team implements the solution in the workplace and follows up after 30, 60 and 90 days to see if it worked and has been sustained.

In the mean time, the CHS project team is also working on its plans for the next phase of design. Design development will focus design on details such as how a patient’s room should be laid out or what the lobby area should look like. This is expected to start in late spring and continue into early fall.

Next Steps in Design for CHS
Schematic design plans – completed in February
Budget verification – complete by mid March
Submit schematic design report – early April
Review and approvals – late April
Design development – May

Learn more about Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan at www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/chs.