Name: David F. Chambers

Award: 20 Making A Difference, 2006

Then: Director, Planning Architecture & Design, Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.)

Now: President, David F. Chambers Consulting Inc. (Renton, Wash.)

What he’s been up to: Led Sutter Health’s prototype hospital initiative before resigning from the company in 2010; started his own consulting company, which has been involved in the Eastside Campus development for the University of Wisconsin Health System in Madison, Wis., the campus consolidation project for Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Mich., and Five Hills Health Region in Saskatchewan, Canada.; and wrote the book Efficient Healthcare Overcoming Broken Paradigms, now in its second edition.

What’s one of the biggest changes you’ve seen in healthcare design since you won your award and how has it affected your work?

I envisioned the first “universal care unit/platform” as far back as 1989. These units are gaining much more widespread acceptance and I’m seeing others publish articles interpreting implementation of this concept in exciting new ways. These units allow for pull-oriented thinking by providing a single place for a patient to present for service, rather than being required to move from place to place to be served. This may be only the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a great start. The new hospital developed for Five Hills Health Region, the Dr. F. H. Wigmore Regional Hospital, has fully implemented its universal care platform and is already demonstrating phenomenal improvements in quality of care, speed of care delivery, and a strong commitment to patients first.

What’s on your radar screen in 2016?

I’ll be more involved with my clients in coaching a different way to pull together as outcomes-based care delivery teams rather than remaining in transactionally encumbered departments. The key to realizing a sustainable healthcare system is in understanding that teams benefit from synergies born of deep collaboration. Our current paradigm is still mired in transactional thinking, but if we can shift to more collaborative teaming, we can successfully overcome the current limits of value to cost that so deeply encumber us.

For more Q+As with past recipients of Healthcare Design’s professional awards programs, check out "Master Class."