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Capital Project Solutions – June 2011

Conducting a Transition Readiness Assessment to Ensure a Successful Facility Transition Ray Walker Principal Consultant One of the biggest traps healthcare organizations fall into is the belief that planning for a new facility is complete once the structural design is finalized. In fact, the opposite is true. A new facility provides an organization the ideal opportunity to reevaluate and update their operational strategies and processes. However, to truly capitalize on this opportunity, this must be taken into account during design – prior to the start of construction. Given today’s economy, when planning a new facility, there is tremendous pressure to quickly complete the design process and start construction. Unfortunately, more often than not, construction begins before the design is completed. Following this path makes it virtually impossible to carefully and thoughtfully map out the operational impacts of the new environment. Many of the more complex operational issues to be implemented in the new facility are only discussed at a high level during this initial phase. Particulars are not discussed and it is merely assumed that operational process flow changes will mesh with how the new facility is constructed. Without careful planning and coordination, the results can be a significant disconnect between what is built and what is necessary to support operational strategies. In an effort to manage the coordination between operational planning and the physical environment, we encourage healthcare organizations to begin Transition Planning as early in the project schedule as possible, preferably beginning as soon as the design is complete. Transition Readiness Assessment Per Webster’s Dictionary, Transition is defined as: “passage from one state, PLACE, stage or subject to another”. A successful transition from one facility to another is realized when the completed facility and operational readiness merge, optimizing 1

Capital Project Solutions – June 2011

functional patient care activities. So how does a healthcare organization know that they are ready to transition from one building to another? What assurances do the executive leaders of a hospital have that the plans to date are still in sync with how the building is actually being constructed? These questions are often answered during the Transition Planning process. To initiate this phase, we recommend that healthcare organizations conduct a Transition Readiness Assessment (TRA). TRA is a gap analysis of the transition planning completed to date. It also identifies items that remain to be completed and ultimately results in a comprehensive plan to address all elements. The phases of the assessment are quite similar to a physician treating a patient. They are: Discovery (History and Physical) – What information is currently available relative to the proposed transition? This involves initial data and information gathering along with pre-session interviews. Gap Analysis (Diagnosis) – Where are the gaps in what is known and not known? What has already been done? What still needs to be done? Implementation Plan (Treatment Plan) – How can we bridge the gaps in order to ensure everyone’s expectations are aligned and we’re heading down the same path together? Five Steps to Complete TRA Conduct Stakeholder/ Staff Interviews

Evaluate Data, Tools & Systems

Develop Team Structure

Develop Budget & Schedule

Transition Implementation Plan

1. Conduct Stakeholder/Staff Interviews: Key stakeholders should be interviewed to gauge their current understanding of the transition process, i.e.: Will the location of the ancillary services change how service is provided?


Capital Project Solutions – June 2011





What model of care changes will take place in the new space? Is the staff prepared for these changes? How will supplies be distributed in the new space? Is this different from the current model? Evaluate Data, Tools & Systems Review contracts for services, furniture, equipment, signage, etc. Review inventory tracking logs. Conduct way finding analysis and map traffic patterns. Review regulatory information and approvals. Review Communication and Public Relations Plan. Develop Transition Team Structure Create the Transition Steering Committee. Create the Operational Readiness Assessment Team. Create the Facility Readiness Assessment Team. Ensure multi-disciplinary participation. Establish clear expectations, roles and responsibilities. Ensure Integration of the transition teams with the project delivery teams. Develop Transition Budget & Schedule The transition budget should include - move company expenses, warehousing charges, training expenses, marketing expenses, public relations expenses, etc. The transition schedule should be integrated with the Project Delivery Team’s Construction Schedule. The transition schedule should include staff training, furniture and equipment coordination, stocking of supplies, programming and testing of technology systems, final cleaning, etc. Transition Implementation Plan Based on the information gathered in the previous steps, a Transition Implementation Plan can be prepared that addresses the identified gaps. 3

Capital Project Solutions – June 2011

Will clearly state goals and objectives for the project. Will clearly state team member responsibilities. Conclusion Again, the first step in a successful transition plan is to recognize that planning does not end with a complete design. If the Transition Readiness Assessment process is followed, chances for a successful transition will be significantly increased. In addition to streamlining the move, the functionality of the new space will be greatly improved which will provide substantial longterm benefits and enable the leadership team to achieve the staff and patient satisfaction that they originally sought at the onset of the project.