Captains and Superusers Lead Hospital Move

Posted 10 April 2015 10:06 AM by TCAuthor3

By Julie Kressin, director of business integration for ThedaCare in Shawano

Moving to a new hospital takes a lot of planning—about a year’s worth, to be exact. If you were to visit our weekly three-hour Tuesday hospital move meetings, you’d find 52 people focused on two large projection screens reviewing a list of more than 300 planning tasks. For example, this week we talked about defining the process for the wireless nurse call system and how to move compressed air cylinders, then transitioned to listing the location of each department’s mail boxes and detailing the process for sending dirty dishes to the dish room. 

As a leader in this planning effort alongside Denise DeWitt, an invaluable seasoned ThedaCare construction manager who specializes in making smooth transitions to new facilities, our job is to sweat the small stuff AND the big stuff. Nearly a year ago, we identified three key people in each department who would be part of our move team in addition to their department Manager or Supervisor. The move captain is accountable to his or her colleagues and the move committee for creating a move plan that addresses the needs and concerns of his or her department. The department computer system superuser is accountable for keeping colleagues plugged in to IT hardware and software changes, and the process flow superuser helps plan and educate staff on the new departmental layout, equipment and patient care procedures.

While every aspect of the environment we work in will change in the new hospital—one thing remains the same: the duty to our patients to provide compassionate and quality care. That’s why we’ve made plans to ensure that no person will be moved to the new hospital on September 20 unless he or she is in stable condition. We will have the staff and equipment to provide first-rate care where our patients need us. In fact, we plan to keep several departments operational at both sites on move day, including imaging (x-ray), lab and surgery. This means a mother in labor will deliver at the hospital where she arrived. A visitor to the ER will have his or her bloodwork and x-rays completed on site, and surgery, if needed, will take place there, too.  Only when all of our patients are well enough to move or be discharged, and we have the new site up and running, will we close the SMC site.

The good people who’ve stepped up to be part of the move committee are in the midst of a once-in-a-career experience. Our Tuesday meetings feel organized, confident and focused. We are a close-knit team with a common goal. We motivate each other. We even joke that names like move captain and superuser sound like names for superheroes. Maybe we should add 52 superhero capes to that linen order?