by George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center
As you look at the rapid pace of the new hospital construction, one begins to wonder how soon it will be occupied. From the exterior it looks like a building nearly complete. In fact, within the next several weeks, the exterior lift – used to bring materials and workers to the upper floors. – will be removed and the last of the exterior glass will be installed, completing the “skin” of the building.
exterior construction lift will be removed and the last of the exterior
glass will be installed.
We expect the building to be ready for use by the third quarter of 2012, just a little more than a year away. If we remain on schedule as we have for the past 21 months, the new hospital will be open for patient care services in November 2012. With this in mind, we’ve started our occupancy planning in earnest.
Occupancy planning is an abbreviated name for many activities and preparation efforts. There are 12 teams focused on how we transition from providing services in the current hospital to providing services in the new hospital. Teams of management, staff employees, physicians and consultants are focusing on every detail of the transition process. The equipment team is making decisions on equipment and furniture, what will be moved, and precisely how and when the moves will take place. The training team is developing plans for orientating every employee, physician, volunteer and even vendors to the building, parking and access. This team will also identify, plan for and implement all the training these groups will require for the new technology and processes. The move logistics team is focusing on the logistics of the moving hospitalized patients in a safe and secure manner. The regulatory team handles regulatory requirements, making sure we have all the required licenses, permits and inspections prior to opening. There are additional teams that are coordinating with physicians, addressing communications and public outreach, handling department activation needs, and decommissioning the old hospital once the transition is complete.
Bringing more employees and physicians into the planning process has heightened the excitement and anticipation of finally realizing a long held dream: the replacement of our 57-year-old hospital with a seismically safe state-of-the-art medical center. There remains a lot to be done, but for the many people who have worked hard to get us to this point, it is a labor of love. I have great confidence that those involved in the work will put forth their best effort, and I look forward to sharing with pride the results of their work just a little more than 18 months from now.