Virtua Health is the next Pebble Project to open its new facility, Virtua Voorhees, in May 2011. The LEED certified facility is 680,000 square feet with 368 beds and is located on a 125-acre campus.
During the design phase, Virtua was actively engaged in using Lean. For example, spaghetti diagrams illustrated that some nurses could have walked from New Jersey to Florida in the course of one year, acquiring supplies and performing their routine duties. This informed decisions on how to minimize travel distances and make the flow of operations more efficient. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently contracted with an independent organization to identify the lessons, challenges, and outcomes of implementing Lean in a number of diverse healthcare settings. Five of the 13 case studies are from Virtua.
The hospital intends to evaluate the impact of its redesigned processes and facility design on a range of patient and staff outcomes, and they are also participating in research on an international level. Kings College London, in collaboration with the Pebble Project, chose Virtua Voorhees for its research on transitions to find the best ways to plan and how employees and patients cope with infrastructure changes. Results from this study will be available in late 2011 and published in internationally, peer-reviewed journals.