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Leading Change – A Vision and an Opportunity for a New Urban Birth Center. The journey (so far) of leading change for vision, culture, and space congruence

Course Description

With a new facility comes change—not only in the physical spaces, but in the cultural character of a department or organization. The complex nature of organizational culture can be messy, but efforts to align culture around common goals can benefit the organization to realize enhanced patient and staff experience.

Large organizations have a strong overarching culture, while departments and units within a complex organization will have their own distinct cultural aspects. Careful consideration and intention to align these cultures early in the planning of a new facility is imperative because each group within the organization will experience changes to their environment, care models, and operations. Design strategies in a new facility are intended to support, and enhance, culture and care processes. Typically, only a select group of staff and leaders are involved in the design process itself. To prepare the larger staff population for moving into the new facility, strategic change management activities aim to build consensus and help to understand the “whys” behind many of the design decisions they will soon experience. These collaborative processes engage stakeholders and supports a successful orchestration of the desired cultural shift - one that begins well in advance of moving to a new facility. 

HealthPartners Regions Hospital is developing a multi-story, 150,000 square-foot building, with two floors dedicated to the Birth Center. After relocating from the existing facility in 2020, the Birth Center will see a substantial increase from the current setting in patient room key functional areas, which are designed specifically to better accommodate patient, family, and staff engagement and care model best practices. Planning will allow for the introduction of the enhanced couplet care concept popular in Europe for NICU babies and moms on extended care to maintain continuous bond and skin-to-skin contact while hospitalized.

This ongoing, deep-dive case study follows the journey (so far) and documents the processes involved with leading change in a department’s culture in preparation for a new facility. Starting with an extensive review of available literature, a partnership was formed between HealthPartners, Regions Hospital, and BWBR to study the impact of aligning the project vision and design strategies to leading change for desired staff and patient outcomes. 


Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain the approach to find and review evidence-based resources to support desired changes to environment, care models, and operations.
  2. Describe the importance of strong leadership for projects requiring substantial change: organizational leadership, operations planning leadership, and design team leadership.
  3. Identify methods for capturing baseline measures and monitoring metrics throughout the change management campaign and into post-occupancy of the new facility.
  4. Translate project vision and goals into a working hypothesis for studying the impact of leading change and readying staff for occupying a new facility.

This course is offered for the monthly programming for NIHD members.

EDAC Course ID:
June 21, 2019
Class Frequency: