Planning and Managing a Hospital Move

Children's Hospitals Today, Winter 2011

Orchestrating a hospital move takes years of planning, from paper to computer simulation to mock trial runs to last minute surprises. Video interviews with key players offer stories and advice with the hindsight of a successful move.

Children's hospitals learn from each other on a daily basis, from quality improvement advice in the pediatric intensive care unit to throughput in the emergency department to advantages in adopting new technologies to better care for children's health. With the increase in technology requirements in children's hospitals has come new construction to accommodate that technology, and with new buildings comes the need to move.

Children's hospitals are learning from each other how to best orchestrate the moving of patients, whether to the new tower next door or to the new campus across town. Two-years ago, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC completed the final phase of its historic move with the successful relocation of 152 inpatients 2.5 miles to a new state-of-the-art campus in another Pittsburgh neighborhood.

During the years prior to the move, they planned the multitude of tiny and enormous steps needed to physically relocate. The planning involved trips to watch moves take place at other children's hospitals, and when their own "M" day arrived, they, too, hosted planning teams from other facilities.

Eric Hess, vice president operations, and Jen Iagnemma, administrator hematology/oncology and neurosciences, were leaders on the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh planning team. With the added value of hindsight, they now share their expertise and their experience with other children's hospitals.

Completed in less than seven hours, the patient move involved a team of more than 275 nurses, physicians, administrators, other hospital staff, emergency medical services personnel and 40 ambulances.

The technologically advanced campus was built to support an electronic health record, which reduces the risk of medication and other errors and improves patient care. The new $625 million Children's Hospital campus includes a nine-story, 296-bed hospital; a 10-story, 300,000-square-foot research center; a faculty pavilion and an administrative office building on a 10-acre site. The hospital features an environmentally sustainable design and a quiet, comfortable atmosphere to enhance the healing process for patients and their families.

What are the main ingredients to a successful children's hospital move?

Eric Hess Video Image - CHT Winter 2011

What lessons were learned from holding mock moves?

Jen Iagnemma Video Image - CHT Winter 2011

How did you implement the new facility technologies for your staff?

Eric Hess Video Image - CHT 
Winter 2011

What were the biggest hurdles you faced?

Jen Iagnemma Video Image - CHT Winter 2011

How did you prepare patients and their families for the move?

Jen Iagnemma Video Image - CHT Winter 2011

What was your most memorable moment from the day of the move?

Eric Hess Video Image - CHT Winter 2011