CNO on Hospital Redesign: 'You Can't Over-Communicate'

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , August 19, 2014

The chief nursing officer at a new Texas hospital made sure that the concerns of nurses and nurse managers were carefully considered in the new plans.

Not every nursing team gets to have a role in designing a brand-new hospital. That's why Irene Strejc, RN, BSN, MPH, CENP, CNO/vice president of nursing at Methodist Richardson Medical Center in Texas made sure that her nurses and managers were front and center when the chance to do so came their way.


>>>Slideshow: Methodist Richardson Medical Center Redesign

Strejc says designing the newly opened, 125-bed, four-story facility was a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity for its nurses to really "put their imprint" on a hospital. But despite her role as vice president of nursing, realizing her own vision of the hospital wasn't Strejc's focus.

Instead, her focus was bringing to life the vision of the front-line caregivers and nurse managers who actually use the facilities every day and provide the patient care. "I stepped them forward and stood beside them, because this is not my hospital, it's our hospital," she says. "I was the coach, they were the stars."

The hospital's president, whom Strejc says was the most involved leader she's ever seen in a hospital rebuild, frequently hosted meetings with department managers, who would take the information back to staff during the two-year long project. In addition, nothing was finalized until nurse managers signed off on the design, Strejc says.

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