Why Should You Determine Success Criteria for your Capital Project?


As a project starts, we have always recommended that our clients establish “Success Criteria” or “Project Goals” as criteria/guidelines to consider when important project decisions are being made. This approach provides a disciplined process and a focus on those items that are the most important to the client. This document is most effective with the input of the hospital leadership and major stakeholders. It should be distributed and kept highly visible to all stakeholders throughout the project.

Specific issues that we often see addressed in the Success Criteria document include: strategic, mission-related, and financial-related aspects, patient care, staff efficiency, community-based issues, technology, building imagery and schedule. You may have others. The items should be measurable, if at all possible, and directly relate to the sustained success of the organization. We assist our clients with developing this document. We also suggest to keep the Success Criteria as succinct as possible and easy to read. These items will also allow the project team to better understand the owner’s most important objectives. The following is an example from one of our past projects:

Success Criteria

  • Patient and Family Centered Care – Respectful and responsive to individual patient and visitor’s preferences, needs, and values, ensuring the patient’s values guide all clinical decisions. As measured by:
    1. Observation that it is easy for patients to navigate to point of service and it is barrier free, including those patients who are assisted by wheelchairs, walkers and other aids, as well as conducive to families and children.
    2. Satisfaction surveys in that patient responses to top box “I would definitely refer friends and family to LRH” increases.
    3. Satisfaction surveys in that patient responses to questions directly related to facility and environment improved by a material factor for the initial six months after opening, at one year after opening, and ongoing.


  • Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness – Create optimal efficiencies by reducing waits and delays for both those who receive and those who give care.  As measured by:
    1. Labor (Professional and staff) as cost per visit is at or less than the 2016 rates.
    2. Since the number of treatments spaces (exam and procedure) are optimized, the facility supports shorter time to service; e.g., time from request to appointment date is reduced from 2016 levels, and time from arrival on the day of service being served is reduced from 2016 levels.
    3. Observation and by self-reporting that time for Staff and Clinicians to obtain resources needed for care; e.g., supplies, equipment and information, is reduced from 2016 levels.
    4. Observation or by extracting data from the electronic record that the percentage of “value-added” time (from the patient’s perspective) is increased from 2014 levels.
    5. Focus groups (or a similar means) determine that every step of care is enhanced and/or care process steps are virtually defect free; e.g., repeated tests, misunderstood post visits instructions.


  • Forward thinking – Strategically planned to apply technology where it can drive efficiencies and support the technologies of the future.  Also designed to prepare for future expansion, tied to the existing campus in thoughtful manner yet able to transition easily to any new construction per the master plan.  As measured by:
    1. Observation of the flow through the connection between the new facility and the existing hospital, as well as an evident design to account for the future hospital replacement.
    2. Documentation of an expansion plan for the clinic building. Metrics related to the use of technology.
    3. Infrastructure capacity in the technology support systems and building systems.
    4. Cost comparison and analysis between power plant systems to support only the new facility, serve the new facility and have capacity for the future hospital replacement, or serve the new facility and the existing more efficiently.


  •  Stewardship of Resources-The project is planned and managed to deliver desired results.  As measured by:
    1. Space is shared among clinical departments, so the facility supports adjusting to changing patient volumes (day to day, month to month, year to year) without additional significant capital expenditure.
    2. The facility supports evolving care models without significant capital expenditure, exclusive of remarkable technology changes or new programs.
    3. The project is completed on budget and on time.
    4. The facility is a source of pride to the community, employees, and medical staff for its appearance, function and caring atmosphere.

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