When Concord (N.H.) Orthopaedics was designing its brand-new surgery center, two words dominated all discussions: future expansion. The group's leaders made every decision with growth in mind. And for good reason. "When our previous center was constructed, the surgeons thought they'd overbuilt," says Tim Paris, PMP, Concord's director of plant operations and development. "Then, 10 years in, they realized they needed more space."
The recently opened 21,582-square-foot facility is a joint venture between Concord Orthopaedics, a private physician practice, and Concord Hospital, which is located directly across the street from the center. To avoid the space problem within the new facility, surgical leaders were intentional about maximizing every square foot of space. That should pay dividends as more ortho cases — ranging from total joints to spine procedures — migrate from the hospital to the surgery center.
"We're expecting to capture 20% to 30% of the outpatient orthopedic procedures that are currently being performed at the hospital across the street," says Peter G. Noordsij, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgery specialist at Concord Orthopaedics.
Designing a center for a service line with case volumes that are expected to explode over the next decade-plus can be challenging. That's why Mr. Paris invested time in getting input from staff at every level. He and the practice's leadership team held multiple "character sessions," during which they solicited feedback from the entire staff on anything in the old facility that could be improved in the new center. Then, they shadowed individual staff members to see what they did on a daily basis, put on scrubs and observed surgeries in action and spent time in sterile processing to watch staff workflow and note how instruments moved through the department. "We discovered team members had numerous workarounds they were doing in the existing space," says Mr. Paris. "We knew we could easily eliminate those design issues in the new facility."