Opening the New Hospital – Behind-the-Scenes
A lot of work goes into opening a new hospital. Some of this work is visible to the public but most happens behind-the-scenes so that patients and visitors experience a smooth transition – or first impression – of the new surroundings. In order to tackle this endeavor, several teams were developed and brought together within Columbia St. Mary’s (CSM). They were known as the Eastside Campus Integration Project (ECIP).
“The move and opening went extremely well,” according to Sue Ihde, Transition Director of the Eastside Campus Integration Project. “Patients did not notice a thing except for the transfer to a new room with great space to support their needs. This was the result of hundreds of creative and dedicated CSM employees committed to making this move go well.”
Planning for the move began in April 2008. The project was divided into teams focusing on specific aspects of the move. Staff was assigned to each aspect to support communication and coordination of activities among the teams. Chairs and members of the teams were recruited from both of the eastside campuses and support departments.
The Operations Improvement Team
The Standard Work Team
The Human Resources Orchestration Team
The Training and Orientation Team
The Communications Team
The Materials Department
The Environmental Services Department
The Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Team
The Facility Readiness Team
The Information Technology Team
The Move Logistics Team
The Patient/Staff Move Plan Team
A unique move
The move schedule was unique and different from moving a collection of offices. Because clinical and support departments depend on each other to provide complete services to patients, a group of 20 employees representing the various types of service were brought together to examine those interdependencies.
The bulk of the departments moved between October 8 and October 12 by approximately 40 movers and hundreds of CSM staff. All inpatient, outpatient, and surgical services on the Milwaukee campus, and surgical services and portions of the outpatient services at the Columbia campus moved on October 9 and October 10. Fifty-nine patients were moved from the Women’s Hospital and 14 from Columbia Hospital.
During and after the move, a Command Center was in place to monitor and direct the move. Special software was developed to take calls from the moving departments as issues occurred and needs were identified. Finally, volunteers were enlisted to greet patients and visitors and to assist with wayfinding and questions.
Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation would like to thank our committed donors whose support helped to build the “Hospital of the Future” and the dedicated staff that made its opening possible and a success!