LF DRISCOLL Healthcare Center of Excellence
Over 80% of the workforce at LF Driscoll has experience building healthcare facilities. And that expertise is in high demand-not only by their clients. Within the Structure Tone organization, LFD’s healthcare experts were increasingly being asked to share their knowhow with other markets and areas of the country.
That’s when the lightbulb went on. “We wanted to do more to share what we’ve learned in our decades of healthcare experience,” says Bob Miller, LF Driscoll Healthcare executive vice president. “We already host our own in-house 30-hour OSHA training so we thought, ‘What if we could do something like that for healthcare?’ And that’s when the LF Driscoll Healthcare Center of Excellence started to take shape.”
Healthcare A to Z
The LF Driscoll Healthcare Center of Excellence is an intensive training program that covers the specific topics, tools and best practices that design and construction teams face when building healthcare facilities. Like the OSHA program, this 30-hour training is taught in-person over the course of four sessions, covering such topics as:
- Understanding the healthcare environment
- Infection Control Risk Assessment and implementation
- Life safety plans
- Interim life safety measures
- QA/QC and fire-rated assemblies
- Ventilation and air management
- Electrical systems
- Department of Health inspections
- Project management and financial analysis
- Facilities guidelines
- Joint commission elements and protocols
- Utility shutdowns and hot work procedures
Each participant receives a reference manual that describes the topics and skills presented in the training, and they visit an active healthcare construction site. “They have to gown up, put on the booties—take all the precautions they would if they were working on the site,” says Miller. “It brings all that training to life.”
One of the chief goals of the program is to prepare participants to become Certified Healthcare Constructors (CHCs). “I strongly feel that one day hospitals are going to want their construction teams to be CHC certified,” says Miller. “This program will help us be ready when that time comes.”
The LF Driscoll Healthcare Center of Excellence curriculum closely follows the topics covered in the CHC exam, from knowing the specifics of healthcare standards, MEP systems and safety precautions to understanding the business of healthcare and the impacts of construction projects.
“This course is absolutely what prepared me for the CHC exam,” says Todd Prol, a project executive with Pavarini McGovern who passed the CHC exam last year. “Some project managers I’ve spoken with who work in healthcare every day had told me how hard the exam is. This training was certainly an effective tool to prepare me for it.”
Expertise for all
The program isn’t only targeted to healthcare construction project managers and executives. In fact, representatives from all facets of healthcare development are taking the training.
“At Pavarini McGovern, we’ve sent project executives, project managers, estimators, safety staff—a really broad range of staff,” says Prol.
“Really, anyone who has their hands in healthcare projects, from estimating, to operations, to safety staff, should take this training,” says Prol.
The program is also attracting the attention of healthcare construction professionals outside of the Structure Tone organization. After testing out the first few training sessions with in-house staff, COE organizers invited a handful of partners and clients to pilot the training as well. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“This training serves as a vehicle for continued improvements, which meets our corporate goals of excellence,” says Grace Lin, a senior project manager at CBRE who specializes in healthcare. “I especially like how it establishes a context for problem-solving in project delivery, focusing on patient-centered, sustainable and operational efficiencies.”
Center of Excellence 2.0
Participation in the LF Driscoll Healthcare Center of Excellence training is growing, but the company knows there’s still progress to make. “We’re looking at ways to make the training more accessible and at inviting more clients and partners to take part in the program,” says Miller. “And we are working to get it accepted by a professional development certification program as well so it will count toward people’s CEUs.”
In the meantime, the program remains focused on ensuring participants take—and pass—the CHC exam.
“If you can put together a project org chart where everyone is CHC certified, it places your team at a different level,” says Prol. “It says something about the commitment of the individuals and of the company to truly offer the most knowledgeable experts in healthcare construction.”