The Copeman Healthcare Centre, opened October 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a newly consolidated, 20,000-square-foot facility designed by Kirsten Reite Architecture (KRA; Vancouver).

Previously scattered between several floors of one building, the facility, which houses ongoing doctor and professional care, health assessments, screening and diagnostic services, psychological health, nutrition services, physiotherapy and exercise medicine, and brain health, is now located on two consecutive floors.

One of the primary challenges the KRA design team faced was Copeman Health’s wish to support an interdisciplinary collaborative team model to maximize time with patients. This required stakeholder involvement in design and tools that facilitated early consensus.

Design team meetings involved staff members from each department, including clinical, lab, administration, and marketing teams, as well as patients in the early stages of design. This process facilitated an approach for resolving design problems by encouraging participants to focus on the overall project goals rather than their own.

To achieve consensus, Kirsten Reite, founding principal of KRA, applied her background in Lean by creating a collaborative- and consensus-driven process that put significant design decisions in the hands of the stakeholders, relying on their professional expertise.

Through a series of workshops, KRA served as an active facilitator, adopting a more passive role during design development. The design team listened to the interaction shared between stakeholders, who spoke candidly to each other in smaller groups, uncovering the real issues concerning the design direction. In these workshops, Copeman staff identified design options, refined programs, built mock-ups, and tested flows—a process that resulted in increased operational efficiency. Patient and staff flow was better understood and improved and programs were reinvented, resulting in less physical space being required.

For example, workflow begins in a central patient corridor with self-directed wayfinding to care coordinator check-in desks and exam pods. The offices, exam rooms, and shared multidisciplinary collaborative work spaces throughout the clinic are designed to provide a comfortable setting that allows staff to spend more time with patients and less time on non-value-related tasks.