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July 2017
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A Day in the Life - A New Capital Planning Resource

Planning for new hospital facilities, always a challenging add-on duty for hospital staff and physicians, is even more demanding in the era of alternative funding procurement (AFP).   Space requirements must be articulated in the form of “rules” by which the proponents (the firms that bid on the project) will be evaluated.  In the evaluation process, the hospital’s design team must assess the extent to which each design fulfills the requirements.  Does the plan work at the departmental level?  Is the organization of services efficient and effective?  Will the design support our efforts to re-shape our service delivery – to streamline our processes? How efficient is the path of travel for patients, families and staff and does it contribute to a positive experience for all?  It’s a heavy responsibility. The choices have major clinical and operational implications for the long term future. 

Day in the Life is an evolving tool that is helping hospital teams prepare for the proponent evaluation process.  It’s also proving to be a useful community consultation resource.  Developed by Agnew Peckham at the behest of Cliff Harvey, former Chief Architect for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care , Day in the Life has evolved with each successive Infrastructure Ontario hospital project.  Essentially, Day in the Life follows a patient and family through a hospital care journey.  It begins with a patient profile, crafted so that the patient will experience a range of services/settings across the hospital.  The team then describes the care process and the desired patient, family and staff experience of the process, including what is important/valued through the process and staff understanding of how the process will work.  Selecting a challenging scenario and thinking carefully about the care process and transitions enriches the team’s understanding of the space they are planning, how it needs to work and, if applicable, how effectively it links with any existing space that isn’t being redeveloped.   We anticipate that Day in the Life will also be a useful resource for workflow/process re-design (a critical first step in Agnew Peckham’s functional programming process) and during implementation planning. 

In our experience, the value for the organization is in the process itself.  Milton District Hospital of Halton Healthcare Services engaged its busy clinical service leads to work with us to articulate their unique objectives.  The Day in the Life profiles were developed near the conclusion of the PSOS process when the illustrative design and clinical statements were well established and the ICAT and equipment plans were similarly advanced; yet there was still time to tweak the plans if needed.  Through several discussions and drafts, Milton’s team animated the Day in the Life profiles with all the key steps and interactions.  The documents informed their community consultations and will be touchstones through the proponent evaluation process. 

We’re grateful to the Milton District Hospital team for advancing the potential of the Day in the Life planning tool.  We look forward to collaborating with other clients to evolve the form and application across the capital planning process.