Piedmont Newnan Hospital works overtime for opening on May 8
By ALEX McRAE
(Editor's note: Part of a continuing series of articles leading to the May 8 opening of the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital.)
Practice makes perfect. And when the task is opening a brand-new hospital, perfection is the only acceptable standard.
Making sure the facility is ready to accept new patients for the first time is only part of the process. Patients being treated at the current facility on Hospital Road must also be moved to the new facility without the slightest interruption in care.
Every employee of Piedmont Newnan Hospital is aware of the challenges they face in the weeks ahead. Hospital officials are convinced everyone is prepared for the task.
"As we head into the final stages of preparing for our state visit and hospital opening, I am continuously amazed by the dedication and talents our hospital team demonstrates, day in and day out, getting our new home ready for our community,' said Kelly Hines, PNH director of public relations. 'Our staff members remain committed to providing excellent care at our current hospital and outpatient centers, while many are also working extended hours at Poplar Road to ready our building for service."
Last week, PNH employees participated in a Vendor Fair, undergoing training on new equipment and technology. The training included courses on everything from how to log on/off to the Responder 5 system to proper use of the MedSurg Styrker bed to training on operations of the GE B650 monitor and Telemetry Central Monitoring Stations for the ER, Advanced Care Unit/ICU, PCU, and Monitor Techs.
Hospital officials say all went smoothly.
"Our employees have been excited about new learning opportunities as they anticipated the start of multiple training events coordinated by our Training and Development department this week,' said Jeff Wilson, Piedmont Healthcare manager of Training & Development. 'In the span of five days, several medical equipment vendors and trainers from around the country have provided training to over 500 Piedmont Newnan employees. This training has involved some of the most advanced, state-ofthe- art medical equipment in the state of Georgia."
In the days before the May 8 opening, several key procedures will be addressed in training sessions. On April 17, a simulated patient move will be practiced. This will involved moving a simulated 'patient' out of the Hospital Road facility, moving them safely to PNH via ambulance, monitoring the patient's progress during transport and settling them comfortably in the new facility.
The exercise will begin at 5 a.m., when the actual May 8 move will take place. In addition to hospital staff, the Coweta County Sheriff's Office and Coweta EMS will assist in the simulation. Augusta-based Southstar Ambulance - which will handle the patient move on May 8 - will participate in the simulation. Southstar has assisted other hospitals in moving large numbers of patients."
We will be simulating seven move scenarios based on the types of patients we treat at Piedmont Newnan Hospital on April 17,' said Anna Ivory, PNH vice president of Organizational Quality. 'This simulation, which will involve approximately sixty Piedmont Newnan Hospital staff and other community representatives, will be an opportunity to educate those who will be involved on our patient move day to their roles and responsibilities. We will also be evaluating the traffic patterns and timing of the patient move by simulating patients through the entire process from 60 Hospital Road to 745 Poplar Road."
The patient move simulation will take approximately two hours.
Surgical and interventional simulations will also be held within the next week. The goal of these simulations is to minimize any risk associated with surgery, maximize staff comfort in the new environment before the first patients arrive and assure that necessary supplies and equipment are available.
"Tabletop simulations for both the hospital Main Operating Room and the Piedmont Ambulatory Surgery Center were conducted in March in preparation for the actual simulations,' said Pam Murphy, PNH director of Surgical and Interventional Services. 'During the tabletop exercise, we spent time discussing potential challenges on the day of our first cases. We then created an action plan to address each of these potential challenges to ensure that we planned for and are well-prepared for any scenario."
Hospital surgical simulations will occur in the morning. Ambulatory surgical simulations in the afternoon. All simulations will be detailed and involve several possible surgical procedures.
Murphy said: "We will be simulating four patient scenarios based on the surgical patients we treat at both the current Hospital Road Operating Room and the Jackson Street Ambulatory Surgery Center (two patients at each site). The patients will go through the entire surgical process from being registered, through surgery and then through the discharge process. Through the process we will test our new technology, including our pneumatic tube system and our nurse call system. We will also test the staff flow terminals as we request lab and X-ray services during the patient's process. We will also have one our patients encounter several unanticipated events so we can test our staff 's response. For example, one of our patients will experience cardiac arrest on the surgical table so that our staff can respond to a Code Blue."
The surgical simulations will involve approximately 25 PNH staff members and will provide an opportunity to educate staff in preparation for the first day of scheduled surgical cases. A 'dry run' will ensure that the hospital is prepared for those first patients in both the new hospital and the new Ambulatory Surgery Center.
Surgical simulations will last approximately two hours each. They will be followed by an evaluation designed to enhance processes and ensure patient safety.
To make sure every possible situation is covered, PNH staffers will even participate in safety simulations designed to prepare employees to respond to anything from a fire or tornado to infant abductions and power outages. Director of Facilities Zack Holt says he is confident the drill will leave every staffer trained and ready for any contingency.
"For the safety of our patients and staff, we are conducting various safety simulations as we prepare to open our new hospital,' Holt said. 'We have already completed fire alarm drills, infant abduction drills and testing of our emergency power system. Next week, our clinicians will conduct simulations for Code Blue (cardiac arrest) and RRT (Rapid Response Team), which is a 'code' that is called when assistance is needed for a patient experiencing issues that may prelude cardiac arrest or other serious health issues. We will also prepare for decontamination/hazmat situations. Patient safety is our first priority, and our scheduled simulations will help to ensure we keep our patients safe on move day. All of these scheduled simulations prepare us for emergencies that may arise once we move to the new facility. We want our staff to feel comfortable and safe when providing patient care in their new environment."
Hines spoke for all employees when she said, "We are all thrilled that we are less than one month away from our opening. We truly hope that our community will join in our excitement and pride in both this amazing new health care facility and the incredible care that we will provide, enhance and expand on once it opens."