October 9, 2009

Countdown begins for Critical Care Tower move

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Vanderbilt University Hospital’s new Critical Care Tower is on track for its November opening. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Countdown begins for Critical Care Tower move

Construction of the Critical Care Tower is in the homestretch.

The 11-story addition to Vanderbilt University Hospital is set to open Nov. 14, and the remaining month will be spent stocking the building, testing systems, orienting staff and planning for the patient move.

“The preparations are going exceptionally well. We have undergone a detailed planning process and done an excellent job of anticipating what could go wrong so things run smoothly,” said Pam Jones, M.S.N., R.N., chief nursing officer at VUH.

“People are very excited about this move. Those units moving will have wonderful new space and the entire organization will gain much needed additional capacity.

“Even those programs that are not moving will get room to grow in the existing VUH space,” Jones said.

All staff who will work in the CCT — including those from the medical, surgical and neurological intensive care units that will be moving into the new facility, operating room staff, physicians and support staff — will have orientation sessions throughout October geared specifically to their needs.

On Oct. 15, a special exercise called “Day in the Life” will take staff through 10 scripted scenarios using the typical processes used to care for patients in the critical care units.

“This exercise allows the staff and faculty to put into practice their training on new equipment and processes in a simulation mode as they become more comfortable with their new work environment prior to 'going live,'” said Charlotte Chaney, associate hospital director and head of the Transition Steering Committee.

A mock patient move will be held on Oct. 24 to test the move routes and sequencing into the new tower in preparation for the Nov. 14 move day.

Finishing touches are being applied to the interior of the new Critical Care Tower’s atrium. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Finishing touches are being applied to the interior of the new Critical Care Tower’s atrium. (photo by Susan Urmy)

“It's going to go very smoothly,” Jones said. “We have planned for all contingencies, including the impact of H1N1, and will have adequate resources and plenty of physicians and nurses for the move. We are confident and ready.”

General orientation is available to VUMC staff who will not work directly in the CCT but wish to familiarize themselves with the space. The one-hour tours will include patient care areas, waiting rooms, the atrium, elevators and access to VUH.

General orientation will be offered Oct. 16-Nov. 2. Sign up at http://finweb.mc.vander-bilt.edu/appscripts/training-courses/CourseDetail.asp?fldCourse_ID=707.

Jones and Chaney agreed that everyone is pleased with the outcome of the $169 million project.

“It is going to be an excellent facility,” Jones said. “It's beautiful and has a great layout. It's a very patient- and family-centered environment, but it is also conducive to a team-oriented approach from staff. It's a great building block to continue improving our care and patient satisfaction.”

Chaney added that the building also looks to the future.

“This new facility will incorporate state of the art technology and is wired to accept future technology. This expansion provides for additional beds, ORs and cardiac services to meet the needs of our growing community,” she said.