Archive August 2018 XIX, No. 8

Ideas That Work: OR Construction

Welcome to Cardboard City

THINKING WAY OUTSIDE THE BOXES Teams at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital re-enacted care delivery scenarios, measured steps, placed equipment in different places, and considered the flow of patients and staff in "Cardboard City."

It's one thing to crowd around an unrolled blueprint in a conference room to see the design of your new OR project, but quite another to walk into an actual space, experience it and see where the doors are going to be. That's what happened when we built "Cardboard City."

To give us a real-life look at our OR project before the first nail was hammered home, our general contractor constructed — in real size and with real dimensions — 10 ORs and 20 PACU bays out of cardboard in a vacant shipping warehouse we sub-rented near our hospital's main campus.

A team of nurses, surgical techs and physicians worked together to design the new perioperative space. Teams re-enacted care delivery scenarios and measured steps, placement of equipment, and the flow of patients and staff. The result was that we had minimal change orders and our staff has to walk fewer steps.

The feedback we got from staff was overwhelmingly positive in that they were more involved and had more decision-making authority on this project than any other project in our system.

Our 10 ORs have been built and our 20 PACU bays are expected to open in January 2019. Cardboard City is gone now, but we liked using the cardboard system so much that we're using it on other construction projects throughout our health system.

Karin Henderson, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CENP
Cone Health — Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital
Greensboro, N.C.

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