How to move a hospital?When it comes to moving a hospital, even the simplest tasks are difficult. Take, for example, moving the administrative areas. “The amount of time to turn over a hospital is a challenge,” said Jerry Turner, a specialist in moving hospitals employed by Jamestown Regional Medical Center. “It is difficult to do that while everyone maintains their daily responsibilities.”
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
When it comes to moving a hospital, even the simplest tasks are difficult.
Take, for example, moving the administrative areas.
“The amount of time to turn over a hospital is a challenge,” said Jerry Turner, a specialist in moving hospitals employed by Jamestown Regional Medical Center. “It is difficult to do that while everyone maintains their daily responsibilities.”
The hospital is moving to its new facility in five phases. Some administrative staff members are already doing their jobs at the new location. Staff members were furnished boxes for files, books and all the other assorted stuff that makes up an office. These boxes, office equipment such as computers and printers, and some of the office furniture that fits into the new space were moved to the new location by Beltmann North America.
Beltmann is a Roseville, Minn.-based company specializing in moving medical facilities.
“We move the office furniture first,” said Mitch Miller, a supervisor with Beltmann. “Then the boxes of stuff go so they can put together their office when it gets there.”
“What’s happening now is the softball compared to moving the clinical departments,” said Sheri Schweitzer, manager of material services for the hospital. “Some things have to be kept together. The lab and patients have to be kept together. The X-ray department and patients have to be kept together. That’s the fastball in this game.”
Schweitzer said the move occurred at a perfect time. Several major items in the medical portion of the hospital were at the end of their useful lives.
“We looked at this as an opportunity to improve patient care by spending wisely,” she said. “We got new beds and cardiac monitors, for example, but we took a very responsible approach.”
These devices are being installed in the new hospital in advance of the arrival of the patients. The move of clinical items that will remain in use begins at 7 a.m. Friday, July 29. Crews will work from 7 a.m. to midnight on July 29 and 30 moving equipment. Each department has a staff member assigned to each end of the move, checking off the items that leave the old hospital and arrive at the new.
On the morning of July 31, the patients will be moved by ambulance. It’s unknown how many patients this will involve but the average patient count for this time of year is about 12, Schweitzer said.
“They’re going to have breakfast at the old hospital and lunch at the new,” said Bill Jung, technician at the hospital.
At that time all facets of the new hospital should be fully staffed and operational. The Emergency Department may be staffed at both locations on July 31 if necessary.
For the staff of the Jamestown Regional Medical Center the move culminates more than a year of planning.
“We did a survey and cataloged every piece of furniture and equipment in the building,” Jung said. “Things were labeled as ‘keep,’ ‘sell’ or ‘discard.’”
Another part of the equation was bringing in Turner.
“You need somebody that has done things like this many times,” Schweitzer said. “Jerry Turner as project coordinator has done this many times.”
The relocation of the patients marks the last major step in the moving process.
After the move some of the old medical equipment may be transported for sale in Chicago, where there is a more competitive market for used medical equipment. Other excess office furniture may be sold locally.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com