Listening to concerns helps build new spaces for staff  

January 18, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

Approximately a 5-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • The main medical campus and off-site facilities are often crowded with faculty, staff, learners, patients and family members.
  • The Time + Stress Management Task Force listened to employee concerns and created plans to help increase break room space for various groups across the organization.
  • A number of redesign, renovation and construction projects are now underway to help improve the experience for all. 

Having a long heritage and broad reputation for providing exceptional health care, outstanding research and esteemed education brings with it a bustling population of visitors.

For example, “The Hill” – as many refer to the main medical campus – has become crowded with both patients and their families, as well as colleagues from far and wide coming through our doors.

It means our faculty, staff and learners are often short on space. Outpatient clinics and specialty centers are equally popular with the communities they serve.

Michigan Medicine leaders often listen to space concerns from staff either while rounding or in wellness discussions, such as during Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D.’s Time + Stress Management Task Force team meetings. Below is a list of concerns staff members shared and how leaders and members of the facility team took Vital Actions to increase break room space for various groups across the organization.

In some cases, space was unavailable but other options are still being considered as the organization continues to grow.  

Vital Actions underway

Taubman Level 3: Blood Draw Station: Additional break room space and an area refresh was requested. The space is currently being redesigned, with painting and new artwork already completed. A separate space for the break area, with installation of a countertop and additional shelving for a microwave oven is being constructed. Completion is expected by February.

Brighton Center for Specialty Care: Ambulatory care leadership requested four additional picnic tables outside of the center to allow for rest and relaxation. While this was planned for last summer, on-site construction postponed the project until spring of 2023.

Future break room space for the radiology/nuclear medicine team

Radiology/Nuclear Medicine in UH: The current breakroom was too small for the number of staff, including an undersized refrigerator. Facilities secured and installed a new, larger refrigerator and is currently working on converting a nearby conference room into a larger break room. Estimated completion is Summer 2023.

New UH Recharge Room coming soon

Since many groups have small break spaces, Recharge Rooms provide an opportunity to step away for a moment of relaxation, take time off the floor or unwind before continuing with the rest of their shift.

Not all staff can easily access the current Recharge Rooms. In response to staff member feedback that these spaces were too far from workstations within University Hospital, there will be a new Recharge Room in UH5011 opening in March. 

There have also been concerns that only ambulatory colleagues who work on The Hill can easily access the Recharge Rooms. Therefore, options are currently being explored to bring a recharge or respite space to the Michigan Medicine areas that are not on the hill.

The current rooms, located at C&W 7-231, CVC 5331A and Med Inn C626, are open 24/7 for all staff and faculty to take moments for themselves. This allows many opportunities for staff to take some time to pause and refresh.

To use the rooms, scan in with your ID, sit down and use the voice activated menu boards to choose among categories such as energy, focus, calm and relaxation. There are 15-minute experiences available, such as Campfire Cape and Serenity Beach, that surround you with the sights and sounds of that particular landscape.  

Still listening   

There have been additional requests for breakroom space which have been investigated but have resulted in little opportunity for an increase in workspace. For example, options proposed for UH 4C and the Trauma Burn ICU were considered, but an analysis determined that existing functions and workflow would be disrupted if the suggested changes were made.

This can be discouraging, but leaders encourage all faculty, staff and learners to continue to use their vital voices to share their questions and concerns and any suggestions they may have to improve their work environment. Talk to your leaders, provide feedback through the annual faculty/staff survey, and even share your thoughts directly with the Michigan Medicine Leadership Team as the new Executive Rounding initiative takes shape across the organization. As the organization continues to grow and evolve, new options may arise. 

A special thank you to all staff members who shared their concerns, and the local leaders and facilities team for their support of these Vital Actions.