Staff expertise shapes design and staffing of new hospital in China


Story highlights

  • Agreement marks UCLA Health’s first significant venture into international hospital consulting that engages faculty and staff.
  • UCLA Health planning, design and construction experts advise architectural firm to ensure best patient flow inside hospital.
  • Human resources advises on talent acquisition.

UCLA Health continues to serve as an international consultant for the development of a new Western-style hospital and health system in China. The hospital is independently owned and operated by R&F Properties and is not a UCLA facility.

“UCLA Health leaders from every major department — including surgical services, labor and delivery, nursing, pathology, engineering, materials management and more — are sharing their expertise to ensure every room in the new hospital is well planned out and aligned with the UCLA Way,” says Richard Azar, chief operating officer, UCLA Health.

Amy Kraft, director, UCLA Health Real Estate Planning, Design & Construction, has been involved in the hospital’s design since the project’s launch in 2016. Kraft was part of the team that helped select the architectural firm that is designing the building. “We’re currently coordinating design documents for every floor and department to ensure the layout works efficiently to deliver quality patient care in a seamless manner,” says Kraft. One of the biggest challenges, she adds, is making sure that the designs meet China’s building codes without interfering with clinical workflow.

The Western-style hospital will be a first for Guangzhou, which is one of the largest cities in China. Typically, hospitals in China place several patients into one ward and use a queue system to provide care, which efficiently serves a high volume of patients but leaves opportunity to enhance the patient experience. The new hospital will feature private patient rooms, room-service style meals and more comfortable loungelike waiting areas. “We’re bringing elements of CICARE into the hospital to ensure it’s patient-centered and friendly,” says Kraft.

UCLA Health is also advising on staffing. “It isn’t enough to have a hospital with a different look. You need the people working inside of it to think differently about the way they deliver care and interact with each other,” says Robin Ludewig, senior director, talent acquisition, UCLA Health Human Resources. Ludewig is currently advising a China-based advertising agency on how to promote the new hospital’s care model — which incorporates CICARE principles — so they can attract, hire, develop and retain the best people. “We’re helping them replicate what we do here at UCLA Health in a way that takes into consideration the differences in cultures,” she says. With this goal in mind, Ludewig says they’ll be looking to help the hospital bring in people at all levels who are clinically strong and eager to learn new ways to provide patient care and communicate better with patients and medical teams.

Ground was broken for the new hospital in July 2018. It is expected to open in 2021. For more information about this endeavor, visit the UCLA Health Newsroom.