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Are team rooms provoking doctors' ire?

Citing discontent among physicians, Sheila F. Cahnman, founding principal of JumpGarden Consulting LLC (Wilmette, Ill.), asked in a recent Healthcare Design blog whether the industry has gone too far in the elimination of physicians' perks in the name of efficiency and cost containment.

Specifically, she points out how many physicians have bemoaned the loss of a private office, with today's practice more likely to involve sharing hoteling space with clinical and ancillary support staff in team rooms.

"While this is proven to be space and operationally efficient, since private offices sit idle much of the day, the move also sends a message to physicians that they don't hold an exceptional status," Cahnman writes in "Designing to Keep Doctors in the House" (HCDmagazine.com/blogs/doctors-house). "In many cases, separate physicians' entries, parking, lounges, and dining areas are also gone--duplicative space in healthcare settings is expensive, after all."

She says these observations are making her rethink some current facility planning assumptions. Her blog got plenty of others in the field thinking, too. A discussion on Healthcare Design's LinkedIn Group, The Healthcare Design Connection, drew a range of responses. Here's what a few had to say:

"Current practicing physicians were schooled and trained in the pre-[Affordable Care Act] era. Changes in reimbursements, readmission penalties, and the focus on high-quality/ high-value care are finding healthcare providers in a very different place. Collaborative workspaces and shared responsibilities are here to stay. These issues may have more to do with their discontent. Therefore, making their workplaces less stressful, efficient, and safe are keys to ensure clinical effectiveness."

--H.V. Nagendra, director of healthcare

Roy Anderson Corp. (Gulfport, Miss.)

"Why do physicians need their own separate office when they should be spending most of their time seeing patients or carrying out operations, etc.? Surely it's just for ego, whereas hot-desking would more than suffice for their administration tasks. An important aspect of keeping the clinical staff (not just the physicians) is to ensure there are ample, well-designed breakout areas close to the department with natural light so that they can have a little 'me' time."

--James Carrick, director

Nicorna Healthcare (Hyde, England)

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Title Annotation:PERSPECTIVE
Author:DiNardo, Anne
Publication:Healthcare Design
Date:Nov 1, 2014
Words:357
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