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At HealthSpaces ‘24, Bob Feldbauer, Chief Facilities & Real Estate Development Officer at Children's Health, shared early insights from the $5 billion pediatric campus project in Dallas, demonstrating how High-Reliability Organization (HRO) principles can transform healthcare construction management.

The new campus, a joint venture between UT Southwestern and Children's Health, aims to replace a 60-year-old facility and meet Dallas's growing pediatric needs. This expansion is crucial because the area's pediatric population is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Feldbauer highlighted the persistent challenges in healthcare construction, noting that 27 to 37% of projects face significant schedule, budget, or both issues. He emphasized that despite having top construction management firms, skilled trades, and experienced owners, projects still need help due to their inherent complexity.

Implementing HRO Strategies

To address these challenges, the project’s collective leadership team implemented several key HRO strategies. These include cultivating a no-blame culture to encourage open communication, avoiding oversimplification by considering the bigger picture, and building team resilience and adaptability. These strategies aim to create an environment where team members feel safe reporting issues, complex problems are not reduced to overly simplistic solutions, and the team can effectively respond to changes and setbacks.

Feldbauer stressed the importance of viewing the project team as a unified entity, stating, "We're a $5 billion organization that has to set together its own shared values services." This approach aims to break down silos between owners, designers, and contractors.

Developing Onboarding Strategies

The project’s leadership team developed a comprehensive onboarding package to embed these principles. "All the teams that we're now getting into the execution phase will have the culture and the type of expectations that we're looking at building as we move forward," he shared.

By applying HRO principles to construction management, Feldbauer aims to navigate the complex landscape of large-scale projects more effectively. This approach not only addresses the immediate needs of the Dallas campus project but also sets a new standard for managing healthcare construction projects in the future.

You can watch Bob’s full talk here: 




Tracey Lerminiaux

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Tracey Lerminiaux is a content and conference producer for influence group focused on healthcare, higher education, and hospitality. She's a lifelong learner that loves connecting intriguing minds and hearing a good story. Though, if a cute dog crosses her path, all bets are off and she will be stopping to say hello

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