Whew! Almost Done!

Theda Clark Behavioral Health Renovation

The wallpaper is going up. The dust is starting to settle. ThedaCare Behavioral Health’s (TCBH) renovated inpatient unit at Theda Clark Medical Center is only a few months from completion.

In January 2012, TCBH leadership held a weeklong 2P event, which included visits to five other area locked psychiatric units, soliciting feedback from patients and researching national best practice in locked psychiatric units. Using ThedaCare Improvement System principles indicated the team could improve safety, patient and staff satisfaction, and financial performance by making these significant changes.

“We realized the existing design wasn’t creating value for the patient,” said Jake Lepke, project lead, TCBH Value Stream. “We wanted to improve our environment for patients, providers and staff.”

The 2P was held in different phases—the entire group of participants and smaller breakout-style groups—that analyzed targeted areas within the unit. Participants included TCBH psychiatrists and staff members, and safety and security, members of the construction team and the architectural firm, and patients—who provided welcome feedback.

The participants developed a list of specific criteria regarding the current design and improvement goals which would provide better patient care and staff efficiencies. Topping their wish list was that the new design improves safety by providing line of sight in areas where patients and staff spend the most time, and creating an open and versatile floor plan.

One of the more sobering statistics uncovered during the research phase of the 2P was that TCBH had to turn away 271 patients in 2011. The team also found 90 different wastes, or barriers to care, service and satisfaction for patients and staff. The good news is that those issues are well on their way to a solution!

Currently, the renovation is in the fourth of five phases. Here are some of the key improvements already in process:

Increasing functional space overall, including the number of private rooms with en-suite showers.

  • Improving aesthetics — open and welcoming floor plans with cheerful colors.

  • Multiple day spaces to interact with others and participate in activities like therapy and dining.

  • Improvements to safety, including distinct areas for different types of patients.

  • Increasing number of unit entrances to two, and locating the 24-hour work station closer to the unit entrance and admission room, for the efficiency and safety of the overnight shift.

  • Enhancing the line of sight from staff workstations into the day area, admission area and other key areas.

  • Upgrading work stations with natural light and views of the river. The work area has closed segments for privacy and an open area for patient accessibility