Customized Organization and Workflow Solutions

“It is my passion and highest priority to create an environment in which the end result is streamlined, efficient, functional, and visionary”
-Connie Nelson, BSN, RN, CNOR, CASA

Detailed Expertise

Clinical Peri-op Subject Matter Expert supporting pre-design, systems analysis for process improvement for workflows, processes, transition planning, and operational readiness/activation. Liaison/Coach for communication between Design/Build architectural team and Clinical, Medical Staff & Hospital Leadership. Incorporating perspectives from a clinician with a wide variety of experience in multiple settings sets the stage for more productive team interaction by setting the baseline closer to reality and practicality which will decrease costs in the long run, increase patient and staff satisfaction, decrease adverse events incorporating intentionality and a foundation for future growth and adaptability maximizing financial resources. My experience includes participation in long-range planning activities, project development, review and approval of construction documents supervising design and construction teams including clinicians, architects,  engineers, contractors, consultants, and vendors.

Planning Stage Involvement

As a registered nurse, I possess insights from a clinical perspective that expand my critical thinking skills and judgement for end-users and the project overall. Being involved during the planning stage of the healthcare project, I am able to put my insight and experience to its greatest benefit.  My “assessment” skills include an eye for process and efficiency, use of space, including impact on workflow of the users for the entire spectrum from nursing, providers, technology (including IT, EMR & equipment), facilities, biomed, EVS, patients and families, supply chain, vendors, waste, and regulatory impact throughout the interface of clinical and construction requirements.

Healthcare Design & Facility Planning

Advisory / Consulting Services

Operational Planning/Workflow Design:

  • Work with owners and project team from project conception through creation including visioning, discovery, assessment and development to support strategic, operational, functional and space planning business goals

  • Apply clinical and administrative experience and expertise for pre-design and transition planning to define the future state for both clinical and non-clinical applications

  • Conduct activities to support the project within established budget, schedules, timelines and milestones: provide operational expertise to support the institution’s concepts, strategies, principles, and information for the assigned project(s).

  • Provide assessment of process and efficiency, use of space, impact on workflow of the end-users while partnering with client and project team to align patient care and clinical workflows with technology, healthcare industry regulation and construction code

  • Provide support / assistance with activation and transition activities utilizing Lean Six-Sigma and Lean methodologies to drive process improvement and cost-reduction initiatives to improve workflows, patient outcomes and efficiency.

  • Partner and develop new business and relationships as clinical resource and advisory services between design team and clinical staff

Clinical Planning and Transition/Activation Support:

  • Clinical liaison/resource support to project team and owner’s representative, design and construction teams, architects, contractors, and consultants facilitating quality and supporting clinical related issue resolution during the construction of the capital project.

  • Partner as clinical resource and advisory support with activation and transition activities including move-in process including the coordination and installation of medical and IT equipment, furniture, signage; collaborating with leadership on education, training and orientation activities; and facilitation of post-occupancy issues.

Unique Qualifications & Background

In 2005, I was the service coordinator for General, Urology, Plastics, and Trauma at a community hospital. Having discovered my background and construction knowledge, I was given increasing leadership roles managing projects large and small over the next 12 years. I was promoted to OR Manager for the EMR – Meditech ORM build team project which evolved into project manager for the construction of a new hospital, using LEAN and Six Sigma concepts to address operational efficiencies, workflows, supply chain, and sterile processing processes in preparation for the move into a new facility across town. My role required extensive critical thinking skills, decisive judgement and the ability to work independently and within team environments.  The primary responsibilities of my role included:

  • developing and implementing departmental goals, plans, and standards while maintaining alignment with the mission of the hospital and projects
  • managing operations for information technology and service level determination, complaint management to achieve performance and quality objectives
  • planned, coordinated, and managed staffing activities including hiring, orienting, evaluating, disciplinary actions, and continuing education resources
  • planning, monitoring, and managing budgets and compliance with allocated funding

My direct reports were Sterile Processing, Surgery Scheduling, Billing, & Products including vendor relations with implant and consignment replenishment.  This role required hands-on management of IT/Meditech ORM dictionary and preference card maintenance, Sterile Processing (SPM) software development, Radiation Safety, On-boarding of staff, surgeons, and management of over 1500 vendors including total joint tracking/reporting.

I lead the Perioperative and Procedural area preparation, transition and activation team which took place over a two-year period.  Our team was able to create a very detailed, yet efficient transition and activation plan where we continued performing surgeries during the move with only a 6-hour divert and successful response to 2 emergencies within 30 minutes of resuming operations.  Before, during and after the move, I learned many lessons which changed my perspective and impacted the direction of my career.  In my role, I was able to be the communication bridge between the construction industry, vendors, and front-line staff like myself and found that it was the most satisfying thing I have ever done in my life.

In 2018 I started Colorado ACES Consulting and I now serve as a voice of clinicians and front-line staff helping hospitals, architects, and designers better understand the complexity and importance of design and the impact it can have on workflows and processes especially in procedural area space. I have partnered with architectural design firms and construction companies interfacing with hospitals in the development of an integrated interventional platform for an international critical care hospital and level 1 trauma center with the goal of consolidating procedural areas onto one platform and sharing staff, resources, equipment and storage.  As the Interventional Advisor and subject matter expert during the design development phase operational planning workshops were held to test the design of the building against the needs from a patient, staff and equipment/supply perspective. I also worked to develop a strategy evaluating future state proposed storage space needs with a deep dive analysis into supplies and equipment flow and storage. The deliverable was the development of a tool creating a tiered system for line-item analysis making it for staff to easily evaluate and prioritize equipment, supplies and implants for the interventional platform which informed strategic, operational, functional and space planning.

Medical Room

Areas Managed:

  • Hospital Surgical Services & Procedural Areas

  • Ambulatory Surgery Center

  • Sterile Supply / Instrument Sterilization & Storage

  • Physician & Surgeon Offices / Clinics

  • Associated Vendors and Contractors

through Systems Analysis & Process Re-engineering