Referred Lego Serious Play case study from CBC News
Hospital planning is child’s play with Lego, health group says. Coloured Lego bricks used to shape plans for integrated health facility. A set of Lego bricks was used to inspire planning for a new health centre in Leader, Sask., an unorthodox approach that was initially viewed as ‘kind of silly’ and then embraced.
Officials with the Cypress Health Region, in Saskatchewan’s southwest, have been holding a series of meetings with health care workers and others in the community to plan a new facility to meet a long list of patients’ needs and be more cost-effective when compared to traditional health care models.
When consultants pulled out a box of Lego, many people involved in the planning were surprised.
“They broke out these big boxes of Lego and I thought, ‘Man this is just kind of silly,'” Jason Hodge, a member of Leader’s town council, said in a presentation video about the initiative. “Very childish. And I was thinking, ‘Where is this going to go?'”
Where it went was to generate new discussions about how health providers and patients interact and where people need to be to get the most efficient and most appropriate care.
“About half an hour in, it got really serious about how does this process work,” Hodge said. “It took on a whole new dynamic that a lot of us would never even think about.”
On Monday, the provincial government formally announced that Leader will be home to a new $12-million integrated health facility for the Cypress region. It’s designed to bring together a nursing home, hospital, clinic and EMS building in one area.
The health region says the project is following the “Lean” methodology, a quality improvement initiative that’s widely used in the health-care system, but which has also generated some controversy. Critics have said Lean is a waste of money, employs too much jargon, and uses methods that many health-care workers find off-putting.
In Leader, however, engaging people with the Lego blocks seemed to open people up to new ways of thinking.
The planners used the toy bricks to help people figure out how to run their health facility more efficiently, before construction, with real bricks, begins.
According to Saskatchewan’s Minister of Health, Dustin Duncan, the new facility will replace aging buildings and improve the ability of the community to attract and retain doctors and other health professionals.
The provincial government is spending $9.6 million on the project, which represents 80 per cent of total project costs. Local money will cover the remaining 20 per cent. Currently, health services in Leader are delivered out of four separate buildings, including a senior citizens home which will be kept and expanded.
Construction for an addition to the Western Senior Citizens Home will begin in spring 2015. The new integrated facility is expected to open in 2017.