As project teams seek ways to better work together, they’re looking for new tools and strategies to boost collaboration and deliver better results. To help fuel new ideas, attendees at HealthPoint 2019 in Aurora, Colo., Sept. 22-25, participated in a roundtable discussion titled “Working Together: How Providers and Design Partners Can Achieve True Collaboration.” (HealthPoint, an event where healthcare and senior living executives meet with industry suppliers to discuss innovation for the construction, renovation, and engineering of their facilities and communities, is produced by Healthcare Design’s parent company, Emerald Expositions.)

More than 50 executives, suppliers, and design professionals from organizations including CVS, Page, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center, Cook Children’s Hospital, ZGF, and Perkins Eastman, participated in the roundtable moderated by Anne DiNardo, executive editor of Healthcare Design, diving into a range of topics including tools for building collaboration and what skills project partners are seeking from each other.

To kick off the discussion, Victoria Navarro, regional director of planning, design, and construction at Advocate Aurora Health (Milwaukee), shared her perspective from the provider side, detailing some of the work her organization has done to foster collaboration, including developing a Design and Construction Partner Program and committing to employing integrated project delivery (IPD) for all future projects with estimated costs of more than $10 million. Navarro said IPD has worked well for the organization and its partners, helping to foster integration among team members, improve transparency when identifying costs and risks, and foster trust and respect as a team.

While some in the group shared that not all companies or firms are onboard with the method, many agreed that adopting specific elements of IPD, such as getting the contractor and other stakeholders onboard early, can be valuable and help drive cost and time savings as well as process improvements.

The group discussed other ideas for driving collaboration on projects, including 3P, Kaizen events, and mock-ups, to help engage staff on design features, layouts, and placement of equipment as well as foster more ownership and pride in the end result. One provider shared that his organization, which uses 3P, requires all stakeholders—including the chief operating officer—to attend meetings. “Everyone has to come to the table,” he said . “You have to get everyone excited and participating early on.”

In addition to getting the right stakeholders at the table, participants also weighed in on the value-add services they’re looking from others or bringing to the table themselves, including the use of BIM and virtual reality. One healthcare architect added that “knowledge” is also important. “If you don’t have knowledge within your organization, you lose credibility. Have inside Lean consultants, bring best practices to all new projects, even if owners aren’t using Lean.”

The next HealthPoint event will take place at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas, Sept. 13-16, 2020. Visit for more information.