Hospital Relocation

Hospital relocation is often managed as a project that consist of moving to a new hospital, relocation departments within a hospital, or relocation due to temporary downsizing. Hospital relocation is arguably the biggest challenge for healthcare organisations. The transition requires planning to ensure minimal downtime.

What is Hospital Relocation?

Hospital relocations are often created as projects that consist of moving to a new hospital, relocation departments within a hospital, or relocation due to temporary downsizing. Hospital relocation projects present a complex logistical challenge for planners.

Inpatient units often make their transition planning projects consists of multiple phases. These relocation projects move equipment and patients in small and easy to manage phases from the existing space to the new space during a longer period of time. This is a common practice as healthcare organisations have multiple services that need to be available around the clock, meaning no major disruptions are allowed to occur.

In contrast, hospital relocation projects can occur after business hours or over the weekend and resume operations in the new space when business hours begin again. These types of projects are preferable when the healthcare service is not needed to be available around the clock, such as administrative offices, medical records in storage, some but not all clinical services, and food services.

4 Key Challenges of Hospital Relocation

Hospital relocation often means difficult challenges as downtime needs to be minimal or non-existed. Here are a few key challenges commonly faced in hospital relocation projects:

1. Parallel Operations

Healthcare organisations often have to conduct parallel operations during the period of the relocation project.

Parallel operations are crucial as some healthcare services have to be operating at all times, such as the emergency department, laboratories, medical imaging. This creates a complex logistical challenge for healthcare organisations to manage.

2. Managing Existing Resources and New Investments

A common challenge many healthcare organisation face is dividing how resources are used. The complexity comes from mapping the needs and at what time. In addition, healthcare organisation review which existing equipment can be relocated to the new facilities and where to place new investments.

Understanding where to place new investments is on its own a major challenge for organisations. If you are interested in this topic consider reading our article on hospital procurement or our solution to streamline investment planning and management.

3. Complex Planning

In order to keep service downtime low or non-existent, it takes thorough preparation and planning to carry out the hospital relocation project as quickly and effectively as possible. As a result, a complex plan is created to ensure the goal is completed without major disruptions in the healthcare service.

4. Communication

In order to ensure the complex plan is followed, it needs to be easily understood by all staff participating in the relocation project.

Meaning that planners and managers need to break down the complex plan into clear tasks, while also providing a steady flow of information about important reference points in the project. Clear and concise communication is key.

Considerations for Hospital Relocation

In other industries it is easier to find periods of downtime for relocation, where the most recognizable is during the summer holidays. However in healthcare, the summer holidays is arguably the worst time for relocation projects as staff take turns going on vacation, but the demand for patient care remains unchanged. As a result, healthcare workers go above and beyond to ensure that patients are treated as needed.

Beyond ensuring that the timing is correct and sufficient number of staff are available, here are other considerations to take into account:

  • Reduce downtime. Ensure that equipment is moved when it is actually needed, enabling medical equipment to be used in patient care for as long as possible.
  • Quality assurances. Review if the healthcare organization has the tools to manage all phases of the project through support for checklists, notifications, and document management.
  • Streamline transportation. Consider if specialist vehicles and staff are needed. If they are needed, ensure they are at the right location at the right time.
  • Reduce unplanned costs. In the beginning phases of the hospital relocation projects estimate the expected cost and resources. In the later phases, continuously monitor the cost and resources at all levels in the project.
  • Clear communication channels with follow-up. Provide clear channels of communication and ensure that each participant is aware of the communication channel. Ensure that participants can easily follow-up on incomplete and completed tasks, and overall status.
  • Ease planning with your asset management solution. Some enterprise asset management (EAM) or computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) solutions have features to ease construction and relocation projects.

Solution to Ease Hospital Relocation

From the early stages of planning to implementation and follow-up, a well-planned hospital relocation project will be very satisfactory for all parties involved. And importantly, patients will remain in good care through the project.

Medusa EAM Areas

Enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions, such as Medusa, provide complete support in the relocation process. To highlight a few features, these solutions help healthcare organisations to identify structuring needs for rooms and equipment, ease cost and resources monitoring at all levels in the project, and provide quality assurance with support for checklists, notifications, and documents.

Hospital relocation is not a challenge to underestimate. However, with the right tools at your disposal the entire process will be smoother.

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