• Blog: The #3 Priority in Healthcare Facility Planning: Patient Satisfaction

    This post is the third in a series of posts on priorities in healthcare facility planning. As a brief recap, the priorities I identified are: #1: Safety, #2: Efficiency, and #3: Patient Satisfaction. Even though I have prioritized patient satisfaction as third, if one looked at the amount of coverage in the media, it would […]

  • Blog: Efficiency: The #2 Priority in Designing Hospitals

    During my recent presentation, Keys to Designing Hospitals for Safety, Efficiency, and Patient Satisfaction at the 2016 Hospital Management Asia conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I identified efficiency as the second priority in designing hospitals. Generally, many healthcare professionals negatively view the topic of efficiency as it is associated with staff reductions and […]

  • Blog: Safety: The #1 Priority in Healthcare Facility Planning

    At Hospital Management Asia 2016, I was pleased to share a presentation on my top three facility planning priorities: safety, efficiency and patient satisfaction. The following narrative summarizes my first priority in facility planning, safety.  Safety has become a top initiative for many health care organizations since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its 1999 […]

  • Blog: Focusing on the People in Healthcare

    by Dan Miesle, GHSN Director of Capital Projects   GHSN and owner representatives from Hoa Lam Corporation presented the Hoa Lam International Hospital project at Hospital Design & Development Asia in Singapore.  The conference, held March 29th and 30th, was attended by more than 80 planners, architects/designers, and owners representing prominent master planning projects.  Countries […]

  • Where Have All the Nurses Gone? Part II

    by Kate Rowley, MBA The Skills Shortage  Not only do poor working conditions contribute to the global nursing shortage but the educational and skill level of nurses in many countries is not adequate to address the current medical practices.  There are several approaches to address this skills shortage. Quality of Nursing Education The quality of […]

  • Where Have All the Nurses Gone? Part I

    A Three Part Series by Kate Rowley, MBA The American Nursing Institute (ANI), a program of Global Health Services Network (GHSN) was developed to address the global nursing shortage which is affecting numerous countries throughout the world.   Many people ask where the nurses have gone and, indeed, some migration patterns of nurses are contributing factors. […]

  • Thriving on Change

    by Kate Rowley, MBA

    It’s against human nature to like change. Our brains are literally wired to reject it, to prefer the familiar. Cognitive science, neurology, and evolutionary psychology all support this. We are habitual creatures and change means the unfamiliar, the unmapped, the dangerous, which is reinforced by our personal experiences.

    But there is great danger in remaining stagnant; history and economics have proven this time and time again. We know the world does not remain the same and the only constant is the impermanence of situations. Rather than rejecting change or ignoring it, we would stand to benefit from leaning into change. While I might have a natural inclination to enjoy change, I’ve made a conscious effort to embrace it both in my personal and professional life. It’s especially necessary when working internationally, where drastic changes are a daily occurrence. While it may take some brain training (easier said than done), learning to thrive on change can impact your personal and professional life in innumerable ways. With concrete behavior modification steps, like ones I’ve used, change can be altered from something to fear to something to celebrated.

    Embrace the Madness and the Unknown

    When was the last time you tried something new? One of the biggest cited reasons of regret is inaction. The older we get, the more we choose the familiar because our tolerance for the unknown decreases and our fear of risk increases. While risk aversion has its benefits, wisdom applied from past experiences can and should be taken into account when making decisions. Impulsivity to choose the safe (i.e. known) route is tempting, but it could be argued this phenomenon is limiting opportunities and should be tempered. If we can learn to embrace expected changes and associate change with positive reinforcement, less fear will be associated with unexpected changes, allowing for better coping mechanisms and a greater sea of opportunities.

    Openness to different experiences and ideas has motivational and inspirational effects. Engaging in new activities and challenging existing thought patterns can trigger creative advancements and promote both personal and emotional growth. Actively choosing to be open to new experiences can create room for change to cultivate. By embracing the unknown and the madness of the unfamiliar with a positive attitude, change becomes less of something to fear and more of something to experience.

    Reframe Your Thoughts

    One of the strongest ways to alter behavior is to reframe though patterns. Reframing is simply altering your perception of a situation. Part of thriving and not just surviving change is to seek change out. Practicing embracing change with expected or manageable changes can help prepare you for unexpected changes. One of the strongest ways to incorporate thriving on change into your life is to train your mind to automatically opt for change over the known or familiar. If you seek the positive and optimistic viewpoint in a novel or unexpected situations, it allows for openness to learning and adaptation, instead of resisting and ignoring change.

    Another thought reframing process is challenging yourself to seek answers to “impossible” problems. Great thinkers and discoverers all disrupt the normal thought patterns to innovate and create solutions. A healthy amount of skepticism for existing thought patterns combined with curiosity produces great leaps. Train yourself to believe there are always multiple solutions to a problem or situation. Feelings of fear and helplessness associated with unexpected changes are reduced when a person realizes the power and control they possess over both their thoughts and actions. This realization means even in situations where you perceive a total and complete lack of control, the empowering reality is you possess control over yourself, and you can impact change.

    Get Comfortable with Discomfort

    Change is inevitable, natural, and necessary. Despite this, change still elicits feelings of discomfort, often because of lack of perceived control, the number of unknowns, and the fear of poor outcomes. Without confronting these emotions, processing the true value of options is impossible. Living through the discomfort of these feelings allows for growth.

    Change can be messy and failure is a possibility, but those are the same outcomes that are possible by remaining stagnant. Realizing even with failure, lessons can be learned can spur openness, boldness, and creativity. Growth and learning come after adversity. They are the rewards for the willingness to be curious.

    Model Yourself After Those Who Love Change

    Fake it until you make it. Studies have shown posturing (mimicking or acting) a behavior you desire to possess creates a placebo effect. This self-fulfilling prophecy of mirroring desired behaviors not only portrays to others you possess the desired behavior, but also will eventually lead to actual possession of the behavior. This phenomenon can be employed when developing a love of change. Identify someone who thrives on change. This can be someone you know personally or professionally, or even a well known public figure whom you admire for their love of change. What behaviors do they display? What are their thought patterns? How do they cope? These behaviors and patterns can all be mimicked until they become second nature. Individuals who thrive on change generally adapt easily, display openness and willingness to try new things, rebounds better after failure, persists in the face of obstacles, and value creative thinking.

    Pull From Other Experiences

    growthIf you feel change is difficult, try this reframing exercise. Every experience you have had in your life can contribute to future experiences. Your knowledge and experiences can be directly or indirectly applied to new changes. Nothing is completely foreign, even if it looks so on the surface. Your critical thinking, social skills, personal and professional life experiences all contribute to what you bring to a changing world. Look at a potential change from all viewpoints and assess what is similar, even if it is a stretch, rather than what is different. Leverage these similarities to propel yourself to a successful change.


    Realize What Matters and What Doesn’t Matter

    One of the most powerful self discoveries is distinguishing what does and does not (or what should and should not) matter to you. Knowing what truly matters to you – like your health, your cherished relationships, your ethical boundaries – these are powerful aspects of life. If these can be balanced and/or maintained, the other unnerving or uncomfortable parts of life (like fear of change) can be considered background noise. This realization minimizes or takes the sting of fear from change away. When all else fails, just remember: experiences and relationships matter; ego and possessions don’t.

    Putting your performance in perspective also helps. Recall a moment you felt you failed. At the time of the “failure”, it was probably much more painful and felt more monumental than it is in present day with the knowledge of how it impacted your life on a large scale. In fact, the so-called “failure” may now be considered an advantage that spurred you on or placed you on your current path. It is also important to remember there is always one person who should be on your side: you. Forgive yourself for your failures and allow yourself the space to fail knowing it will lead to growth. Thrive on the chance to have change.

    To read the original post, please visit LinkedIn.


  • Nurse Led Innovation in Design

    by Joyce Durham, RN, AIA I was very honored to be invited to contribute to the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD) book entitled Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners, which was graciously sponsored by Herman Miller Healthcare. I chose to write about innovation in healthcare design and […]

  • ANI-Led Nursing Skills Strengthening in Yangon, Myanmar: Our Faculty’s Perception

    Recently, a team of the American Nursing Institute (ANI) Faculty traveled to present a unique, one-week nursing skills strengthening conference to over 50 nurses in the capital city of Yangon, Myanmar. ANI selected faculty with strong teaching experience and clinical expertise for this engagement. Our team, led by Dr. Martha Tanicala, EdD, MSN, RN, Director […]

  • Designing an Operationally Efficient Hospital

    Numerous organizations around the globe are considering building or expanding hospital facilities. Unfortunately, as a first step, they often hire an architectural firm to being drawing, and in the end, the product often reflects a previously designed facility that may not meet the specific needs of the organization. In order to develop an operationally efficient […]