TPM = Transition Planning & Management...New Facility? Switching Offices?

Consultants Warning: Transitioning to a new facility may cause headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, irritability, and nausea. Feel free to contribute your symptoms as a comment. Oh, and did I mention occasional hair loss?

"Chances are, what you’ll remember most about a major construction or renovation project is not whether it was completed on time and on budget, but whether you were able to resume effective clinical operations from the moment the doors of the new facility opened. The problem is, most healthcare administrators don’t consider the transition until much too late in the design and construction process, if at all."

-Carolyn Pfude, Manager, Transition Group, Gilbane Building Company
Healthcare Design Magazine "Managing a Seamless Transition From Old to New"
*NOTE: This article also sports a handy puzzle-piece visual detailing components of TPM.

Basic Remedy: The Six P's
Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance....those military-types have a clever acronym for just about everything.

The first two P's, Prior and Planning, are easier to handle when administration is in full agreement about the purpose and varied uses for the new facility.

If the COO believes you're going to reduce average LOS by .8 days, and the CFO believes 110 new acute care beds are going to increase revenue by 0.7% you've got a problem - find out if administrator's goals are competing or compatible before the construction crew is onsite.

If your team is in the initial planning stages or even reviewing RFPs, try these activities to treat conversational constipation:

1. Appoint a Chief Staff Motivator (or Team): Who will act as the chief motivator? Sometimes this role naturally fits the talents and skill set of the CEO. In other instances, a motivational team with the authority to organize small, spontaneous giveaways and celebrations is in order. Carolyn Pfude (Gilbane) emphasizes the importance of PLANNING for this capability, rather than reacting 8 months after drills have started buzzing and morale has taken a nosedive.

2. Perform an Equipment Needs Audit: What do we have? What's too old? What's new that we want to move? Do we need additional vendor sourcing? What do we want to get rid of? Do we donate it? How do we dispose of it? What is the budget for furniture, equipment, etc.? What do we want to be 'top notch'? Are we willing to lay down the dough to GET top notch?

3. The IT Monster Rears its Ugly Head: Unfortunately, moving to a new facility is also primo timing for examining existing IT infrastructure. The bitter pill of EMR implementation and systems overhaul may go down more smoothly in the midst of acclimation to other new patient care tech. Or it may simply overwhelm your staff. Each admin team should plan according to the current IT climate and staff tolerance for changes.

4. Transition Plan Composition: Each unit/department should form up that ole standby - the TPM Committee. Develop transition plans that include every staff member making the move. Be sure to note and discuss the safe movement of any hazmats listed on your Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) including common cleaning products. In addition, be sure to designate a staff member as point person for specs, purchasing, procurement, transport, delivery, donation coordination, disposal etc. required for any new and existing furnishings/equipment.

5. Program for Patient Transport: No transport department? Form up a team devoted to patient movement if necessary, and be sure to include important dates/deadlines. Have the team practice, practice, practice...perhaps it takes 4 staff members to navigate a bed through certain areas of the existing facility rather than the 2 called for on paper. Volunteers may be useful in moving office supplies, but medical staff should handle this precious cargo.

5. Select Green Moving Vendors Whenever Possible: Check out usedcardboardboxes.com. Select a package corresponding to the size of your soon-to-be mobile office, then sit back and wait - packing materials, including a Sharpie, are delivered direct to your door. UCB purchases and 'ecocycles' new, used, surplus, and misprinted boxes. H2E (Hospitals for a Healthier Environment) sites pay attention: a portion of proceeds benefit TreePeople.org reforestation and citizen forestry efforts.

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