Medical Construction & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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46 Medical Construction & Design | NOV EMBER / DECEMBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM current state versus future state exercises into the training. This provides an opportunity to test scenarios with mock patients and evaluate new workfl ow, operation plans, systems integration, staff training eff ectiveness and equipment functionality in the new spaces. Employees will be less apprehensive about the move if familiar with the new space before opening day. Depending on the scope of the project, training time will vary from two to four weeks. Test everything Test all support systems, as well as phones, televisions, electron- ic blinds, water and light sen- sors, elevators and toilets. This can preclude embarrassing glitches. In one case a facility manager discovered that none of the new hospital beds were working. He had not attended training on these beds and did not realize that, after plugging them in, he still needed to press the "on" switch. The human element What makes a hospital unique is its staff , not a new build- ing or shiny new equipment. Healthcare is about people caring for people. So it is important for hospital leaders to understand the emotions of patients and staff when transitioning to a new facility. Nurses, central sterile techs and other staff can understand- ably express emotion when the reality of the move sinks in. A new environment with an emphasis on effi ciency means new equipment and expecta- tions. Change can be frighten- ing. For example, a new central sterile system can be very dif- ferent from the old system that employees kept operating well past its useful life. Let them spend time exploring the new system, conducting dry runs so that they get to know the space and the equipment. Tools A facility activation plan requires a robust set of tools to ensure a smooth implementation and transition. Reports should include an executive dashboard that summarizes activities in an easy-to-absorb format. The tools should be simple enough for anyone to use, rather than a complicated proprietary program that requires extensive staff training. The tools should be able to display real-time snapshots of activities and decisions for the next day, for the next week and for the coming month. The transition planner should be able to provide examples of the assessment tools, templates, checklists, work plans and "to/ from" reports they use. If diffi - cult to understand, it will make monitoring the transition that much harder. Setting the right tone Completing a project and mov- ing into a new facility provides an opportunity for ongoing im- provement. It is important the transition sets the right tone for the future. As healthcare shifts to a value-based model, devel- oping and implementing a facil- ity activation plan is a critical factor to achieving sustained effi ciency long after move day. With today's constantly chang- ing healthcare environment, there is no fi nish line. Jay Hornung, ACHE, is the founder and president of Healthcare Building Solutions, Inc. He may be reached at Facility activation and medical equipment planning helped bring the 450,000-square-foot, 150-bed Robert Brigham Healthplex expansion online at Reading Hospital in Pennsylvania. Transition planners helped prepare clinical staff for their new work environment by creating workfl ow diagrams.

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