When you want to do something right, you look to the best for inspiration.

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, we had the pleasure of welcoming two of the very best healthcare design leaders who shared their experiences at a public presentation at the Water’s Edge, in Windsor.

Dr. Ruben Devlin is President and CEO at Humber River Hospital. Under his leadership, North America’s first fully digital hospital opened in October, 2015. He spoke to the crowd about what modern healthcare looks like, and how his team was able to overcome obstacles and make that project a reality.

Lucy Brun is a healthcare and facility planner and Partner with Agnew Peckham and has a wealth of experience in the field of healthcare design. She’s worked on hundreds of hospitals worldwide and says the community engagement process in Windsor-Essex far exceeds anything she has seen before.

WATCH: Exploring the Future of Healthcare with Dr. Rueben Devlin & Lucy Brun

Humber River Hospital

Humber River Hospital is the first fully digital hospital in North America. It is a great example of what we mean when we say #WEareready!

For more on the unique ways Humber River is using technology to enhance the family and patient experience, check out the link below.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Humber River Hospital – The Future is Now

Highlights from Tuesday’s Presentation

Lucy Brun on Community Engagement in Windsor-Essex:

“It is unprecedented from the experience that I’ve had in healthcare planning for the last 32 years. It started with Dave Cooke’s committee in 2012. Basically it was asking the community, “What do you think the vision should be?” And the conclusion was that there should be one facility. One consolidated acute care facility. That was the starting point. Then when we started working with the Programs and Services Steering Committee, it’s comprised of LHIN representatives, Windsor Regional, Hotel-Dieu and Leamington District hospital representatives, city and county representatives, a medical representative, and CCAC. That is unbelievable. Other steering committees would be solely hospital, and it would not be community oriented.

“Then, when we met with every program group – surgery, medicine, mental health – there was representatives from the hospital, from CCAC, where appropriate CHC, and together we looked at what were the needs of the residents, with a future vision for how services would be delivered in Windsor and the region. So there were 100s of people that participated in that. Then when we presented the work, it was to the hospital staff, the medical staff, the boards, including the LHIN boards.

“David Musyj and Dave Cooke have been out on the radio, Allison has been out doing all sorts of web items, informing people of what the hospital could possibly look like, and then there was the site selection piece.

“In no community that I know of, anywhere in Canada, has there been such an extensive process. From the people on that site selection committee and how that committee was chosen, to the development of the criteria and how many criteria there were, o the input from the community on what the criteria should be. In other communities, it’s basically somebody offers a site and that’s where the hospital’s going. With no real input around ‘is that the right site?’ whether there’s a conflict of interest because the person’s just going to develop the site. So it has been unbelievable.

“I also have to say that none of all of this work that has been done over the last couple of years couldn’t have been possible if we didn’t have a collaborative effort in leaders in making this all happen. Kevin Marshall from Windsor Regional and the LHIN representatives, Ralph Ganter and Sandra Lariviere (and Gary Switzer). Again, we’ve never had the LHIN with us and the LHIN is a strong representative of the community. So, it is phenomenal what has occurred in Windsor over the last couple of years.

“And finally, as it relates to the local share, usually, communities don’t have their local share until years after the hospital has been planned. The fact this community already has the share commitment, has set a precedent that I don’t think any other community is going able to achieve. So, everybody should be patting themselves on the back in terms of how everything has really come together.” Lucy Brun, Partner, Agnew Peckham

Rueben Devlin on Community Engagement:

“If there is a hospital that got 100% unanimity within the community, I would like to see that hospital, because that is not happening. Different people have different ideas. It is really what we think is in the best interest for the future and we try to talk to as many people as possible. And we had some great ideas. We had great ideas from the community, we had great ideas from our staff and physicians and we just tried to embrace all of those ideas.” Dr. Rueben Devlin, Humber River Hospital

Rueben Devlin on parking:

“The ministry funds certain things and doesn’t fund other things. The Ministry provides zero support for parking and I think you’ve read the newspapers and there’s been a big interest in parking within the province. So, in order to pay for whatever parking the hospital chooses, they depend on the revenues from parking. And I know patients and visitors don’t like to pay for parking, but then there may be hospitals that don’t build efficient parking because they can’t afford it. That will be a point because given the cost of parking, you can’t build a structure based on the current rates that are paid here so it may be surface parking if you have sufficient space. Those are discussions that will happen in the future. Parking is my number one complaint.” Rueben Devlin, President and CEO, Humber River Hospital

Rueben Devlin on property size:

“If I am just building an acute care hospital, then I probably need about 40 acres. So I need enough land to do that. I also need ring roads. I need storm water management, but then, I say, ‘what do you plan to do with the rest?’ Do I want to have room for expansion? Is this going to be a one shot deal? Or do you want room to expand? And do you want professional buildings on that property? Some hospitals want it, some don’t. But if you want professional buildings, you need more land as well. So, you have to determine the purpose of it. Once you are built, and that land is allocated, then you are done. You can always find a purpose for a little bit extra, but you can’t do with too little, so that’s a problem.” Dr. Rueben Devlin, Humber River Hospital

Rueben Devlin on designing a modern, state-of-the-art hospital:

“We started having discussions in 1999 and didn’t start construction until 2011. Some of the blue skying that we did, that was the best part. When I was small, we used to sit around the dinner table and my dad would say, ‘I’m going tell you what is in our house today that wasn’t in my house when I was a boy. Now you tell me, what’s going be in your house when you are a dad that’s not here today.’ And that’s the similar exercise that I did with the team.

“I said, ‘just tell me what’s going to be in a hospital 30 years from now. Tell me how it’s going to work. I don’t care; there is no bad idea.’ And then they started coming up with all these great ideas about how it is going to work and all the different technologies that hadn’t been invented. That gave us the idea of what sort of infrastructure we needed in place in the new building, because, retrofitting your current sites will not work.

“And what we are really doing – and it’s an old term – is creating a plug and play hospital in the sense that you need an infrastructure that will bring the information in and will send the information throughout the organization, but it needs to be flexible enough to adapt to technology that has not yet been invented. That is part of the exercise that we went through and that’s really a lot of fun to do. It lets people’s minds say this is how it’s going to be.” Dr. Rueben Devin, Humber River Hospital