When Kim Camboia walked into a north end warehouse in mid-January, she wasn’t feeling anxious about what she was going to see. “I had faith in the architects,” she said.

Camboia was a family representative involved in two events this past fall for Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. During these two, week long sessions, models and mock-ups for the hospital’s clinical areas were created by teams of patients and families, staff, physicians and administrators. In mid-January, the architects, with support from the CHS project team, Health Region quality consultants and lean consultants from John Black and Associates, returned to the 3P teams with preliminary floor plans based on the work completed in those events. They discussed the plans with the teams to see if there were any improvements or adjustments that needed to be made.

“We wanted to ensure the plans lived up to four basic principles,” explains Clint Diener from ZGF architects, working in collaboration with HDH architects in Saskatoon. “Respect for the work that had been done by the 3P teams. Respect the project budget. Respect the issue of constructability such as electrical and mechanical needs. And most importantly, respect the overall experience for the patient and families.”

“I think they did show respect to the process and our work and translated our intentions very well,” agreed Camboia upon seeing the plans. “I am still excited about it,” says Dr.Robin Erickson, team lead for pediatric outpatients, after reviewing his team’s floor plans and listening to the feedback. “We are moving forward. And when we continually have these events where we touch base again, I think it is important.”

During these sessions, feedback from other staff and physicians not directly involved in the 3P prcess was also reviewed by the teams and architects. The feedback had been gathered from the end of December through early January when the table top models were moved to Royal University Hospital so other staff and physicians could share their insights and comments.

Getting back together and having these discussions is critical, explains Tina Hallberg with John Black and Associates who led the two 3P events. She stressed to the teams to be prepared – life after 3P isn’t easy and there is a lot of work ahead. “I really liken it to planning for a wedding,” she explains. “There was so much work done in last few months just to get ready for the 3P events and then all that went on during the actual week. There’s really good stress that goes through the week and keeps people energized. Then they came up with new design, and ask ‘Now what do we do?’ ”

Training on continuous improvement methodology has already started in the Health Region and plans are underway to tackle the priority Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan process improvement work.

Family members like Camboia urge staff and physicians to be open to change. “I have an incredible amount of faith and, at times, it seems more so than the faith staff and physicians have in themselves to change,” says Camboia after listening to some of the discussion. “I hope that rather than finding excuses as to why something won’t work, they can learn from others. To not even try isn’t the Saskatchewan way. So I hope they will have an open mind and find “made in Saskatchewan” solutions to their challenges that will work for all of us.”