July 19, 2010
On any given day, one look around Martha Jefferson Hospital finds it to be a place bustling with activity. And on August 28, 2011, the staff will basically be running two hospitals simultaneously while they complete the 24-hour transition from the old hospital to the new one.
Staff members have been planning for this daunting task for more than 12 months.
"It's things like setting the schedule as to when we'll stop operating, when we'll close down the Emergency Department here, what time we open there. And another team, for example, is working on the very specific details of how the patient hand off is going to go," said Chief Nursing Officer, Amy Black.
Staffers say they will start loading patients - around 80 total - onto ambulances around 7am on the morning of the move. They hope to have all patients safely at the new hospital by early afternoon.
Practice runs will help officials make the transition as smooth as possible.
"We will get the facility about a month before we move, so we'll have time to play and mock-up and really make sure that we got it right," said Director of Nursing, Becky Owen.
The actual move-in day will also be a practice run of sorts for all the local rescue squads lending a hand.
"We will be running it as a drill, which actually helps with training in general for responding to mass casualty situations where you have to deploy a lot of resources at the same time," said Black.
Martha Jefferson will be cutting down on the number of elective and outpatient surgeries the week of the move in order to have as few patients as possible. However, if you do have an emergency on the day of the move, don't worry, the departments at the old hospital will still be equipped to handle an emergency surgery.