Months of Sorting, Planning, and Packing Lie Ahead

Posted 7 October 2014 1:14 PM by TCAuthor3

SMC Move

By Carol Ryczek, manager, community relations, Shawano Medical Center

Americans move, on average, once every five years. This is prompted most often by a change in job or the size of the family. Whatever the reason, the decision usually means months of sorting, packing, unpacking and making new plans.

Unlike families, hospitals rarely move. But next year at this time, the care and services of Shawano Medical Center will move to the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano .  There will be months of sorting, packing, and planning. And then, there will be a last patient at SMC and a first patient at TCMC-Shawano. Despite the different locations, from the staff’s point of view – and especially from the patients’ – the expectations should be exactly the same.

Both patients should expect compassionate, personal care. They should expect to receive lab work when they need it, surgery if they need it, a reliable electronic record of their visit and a fair and accurate bill for services. That means when the lights go out at the old building, they should already been burning brightly at the new.

Great concept – but how does that happen?

The move for TCMS-Shawano started with a room full of clinical managers, service managers and planners. They met with a move consultant for a full day, and covered a 115-square-foot paper timeline with about 1,200 three-inch-square sticky notes. The notes contain tasks—which can range from emptying a desk drawer to orchestrating the operation of two Emergency Departments.

The committee mapped out the demands of patient care, patient and staff safety, and training. They began making plans to do emergency surgeries and deliver babies during the transition.

Denise Witt, Construction Project Manager, explained that the planning process ensures that when a patient needs a service—at either location – he or she can count on it being there.

“We are going to do what’s right for patients and staff,” Denise said.  That may mean moving some departments first, or even running duplicate departments for a short time. It means making sure that no small detail gets overlooked. It also means that for an entire year, hundreds of staff will work thousands of hours (and post tens of thousands of sticky notes) to make sure that they get it right -- for the last patient, the first patient, and every one that follows.