New hospital stages mock patient move


Nathan Nipper, Piedmont Newnan Hospital's vice president and chief operating officer, on stretcher, acted as an isolation patient on a ventilator during the mock patient move drills last week. In this photo, taken at the entrance into the front lobby of the hospital, staff assessed patient condition and verified all appropriate paperwork, patient identification and other procedures.

On April 17, as millions of Americans rushed to file their 2012 tax returns, staffers at Piedmont Newnan Hospital had something else on their minds.
Long before sunup, a team of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, ambulance company employees and even members of local law enforcement met to practice one of the most challenging aspects of opening the brand new hospital on Poplar Road: Moving patients safely from the existing Hospital Road facility to the new hospital.
An exhaustive list of procedures, scheduled literally down to the minute, was put in place to guarantee that not a single thing affecting patient comfort, safety and continuity of care was overlooked.
The teams responsible for the actual move that will take place on May 8 had gone over the checklist and timetable countless times, but all were aware that once the mock “patients” were placed aboard stretchers to begin the transition between facilities, there was no room for error.
Conference Room 2 at the new hospital was set up as the Command Center for the operation. At that location, hospital officials evaluated and supervised the process as professionals in charge of transport and a team of medical professionals practiced moving patients from Hospital Road to the new facility and checking them in safely. Even an elevator operator was on hand.
A similar team was assembled at the Hospital Road facility to move mock patients from their rooms, place them aboard ambulances for transport and follow up as the patients were moved across town. At every step of the way, the process was scrutinized to spot any procedures that could be improved.
Law enforcement officials were at both locations to provide extra security during the mock move and to provide any needed assistance.
“The purpose of our mock patient move was to test our processes and make sure we have our plan down for our actual patient move day on May 8,” said Anna Ivory, PNH vice-president of Organizational Quality. “We tested seven different patient scenarios and simulated the full move (from Hospital Road to Poplar Road) of three of those patients. We included more than 60 staff members to prepare our ‘patients’ for transport at Hospital Road, accompany them in the ambulance, and receive them at Poplar Road.”
The seven mock patients simulated different conditions and medical needs to help staffers prepare for any contingency.
Patient 1 was portrayed by Karen Duffard, PHC director of strategic planning, who acted as a “new mother” patient with a baby being moved to the Poplar Road Emergency Department. Howard Masonheimer, representing the “significant other” for the mother and child, rode along in the ambulance. Alison Middleton rode with the mom/baby patient. Nancy Mothorpe was the observer on floor and Laura Craig was the observer in the Poplar Road Emergency Department.
Patient 2 was David Copelan, who portrayed a telemetry patient being transported to Poplar Road. Lynda Little served as PNH Safety Champion with the telemetry patient. Kim Crum was the Observer in 3MS (MedSurg) and Laura Craig was Emergency Department observer.
Patient 3, Marsha Suber, portrayed an Emergency Department patient with traction. Kimberly Corminey, RN, was assigned to the ED patient with traction. Laura Craig served as observer.
Patient 4, PNH Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Nathan Nipper, represented an isolation patient on vent being transported to the front lobby of the Poplar Road facility. Respiratory Therapist Leslie Huff served as both Safety Champion and respiratory therapist for this mock patient. Dana Nyerges, RN, rode with the vent patient. Kathy Pirozzolo was the observer on the floor, Laura Craig was Emergency Department observer.
Mock Patient 5, PNH’s Director of Human Resources Ginny Lyles, portrayed a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) patient. Yoshelda (Semone) Melson — White acted as Safety Champion for the DNR patient. Angela Johnson was in charge of safekeeping valuables for the DNR patient, which hospital officials will do if family members are not available to take charge of and transport personal items. Lynette Johnson was observer on the floor. Laura Craig was the Emergency Department observer.
Patient 6, Jenn Lingenfelter, PNH director of performance improvement, represented a psychiatric patient. Floor observer was Kathy Pirozzolo and Emergency Department observer was Laura Craig. This patient was accompanied by Stan Freeman, who was charged with providing security during transport.
Patient 7 was Teresa Singley, representing a BiPAP paptient headed to the Poplar ROAD ambulance entrance. BiPAP is the common term referring to BPAP, which stands for bilevel positive airway pressure, a breathing apparatus that helps its user get more air into his or her lungs. Heide Fye served as both Safety Champion and Respiratory Therapist for this patient. Heather Cole was the RN riding with the BiPapp patient. Cheryl Newbold was observer on floor. Laura Craig was Emergency Department observer.
Tom Knight of Southstar Ambulance was on hand for all procedures to observe and provide his expertise on behalf of Southstar, which has experience moving patients in scenarios such as the move from Hospital Road to the Poplar Road replacement facility.
Moving patients from the existing facility to the new hospital is one of the most crucial and challenging tasks hospital officials face as the countdown to opening the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital on May 8 approaches. At the completion of mock patient move exercises, it was clear that the proper people and procedures were in place to assure a smooth transition.
“The mock patient move was successful and certainly very beneficial to us, as we have been able to identify several processes that we will adapt to best prepare us for a smooth patient move process,” said Anna Ivory. “We are very appreciative to both Meadows Regional Medical Center (in Vidalia) and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center (in Americus), which have provided us guidance from their experiences in moving into replacement hospital facilities.
Meadows Regional developed a patient move manual for its move in February 2011, which Phoebe Sumter adapted and utilized in December 2011 when it also moved to its replacement hospital facility, she said. Several Piedmont Newnan Hospital employees actually traveled to Americus and observed this move.
“We have leveraged our experience of observing Phoebe Sumter’s move, and we have also adapted the patient move manual for our use. Both have proved extremely beneficial in our planning for the transfer of our patients from Hospital Road to Poplar Road,” she said.

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