With two campuses that offered overlapping services located across the street from each other, a regional hospital built a new patient tower to consolidate its services on one campus. Once the new tower was finished, the hospital needed an activation readiness plan that would ensure it opened with minimal disruptions. This included preparing the staff for the new building and familiarizing them with new policies and procedures, Catalyst implemented a phased strategy to complete the activation of the new tower with minimal disruptions and without compromising patient safety.
Catalyst formed work groups for each department scheduled to move into the new tower, as well as those affected by the move. The 18 work groups included departments such as the ED, ICU, surgery, the blood bank, and patient and family services. In addition, five global work groups looped in all work groups plus departments such as education, communications, regulatory, and change management.
Each departmental work group developed an operating manual to drive functional and operational programs and serve as the detail for implementation planning and staff training. Developing an operating manual provided clear road guidelines on the processes that needed to be changed as well as a platform to explore alternative solutions and document the change.
A critical part of activation is ensuring patient safety, so Catalyst simulated a “day in the life,” which had two distinct parts. The first was performing a mock move in which a patient was moved from the old campus to the new tower to make sure everyone knew the necessary processes and to uncover any snags. The second part of day-in-the-life simulations was to run practice scenarios in the new tower.
The new patient tower – and the new processes that came with it – had the potential to cause confusion with staff and patients alike. Staff members were working in brand-new spaces, with new places to store equipment and supplies and new travel paths to learn. Patients needed to know where to park at the new facility, where their provider or treatment was located, and any new check-in procedures that had changed in the new building. The activation plan ensured that staff was familiarized with their new space so they could work efficiently, while patients received communications on changes and what they could expect in the new tower.
In addition to education around the new tower, during the activation period continuous communication needed to be spread to all areas of the hospital. Leading up to Move Day there was constant change on who needed to be where and what areas were open to the public. Catalyst worked with the in-house marketing team throughout the activation process to eliminate duplicate work and confusion. Website, commercials, weekly emails, and blogs involving information about the new tower were regularly updated to reflect the most accurate and timely information about Move Day, construction, parking, etc.
When Move Day finally arrived, the activation occurred with no major issues and no threats to patient safety. A hospital employee involved in the move said, “This project was a huge undertaking, and Catalyst expertly and efficiently guided us through the planning and implementation phases with no significant problems. A job very well done.”