Date: May 30, 2012
271 Total Patients Moved
136 Patients Moved on Day 1
135 Patients Moved on Day 2
112 ICU Transports
159 Non-ICU Transports
The bell sounds
In the patient-move command center located in the Zayed Adult Tower, Christina Lundquist takes a call from the nurse manager of the pediatric intensive care unit. The nurse reports that the last patient has been nestled safely into a new room in The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center Tower. Lundquist’s next move is a bit unorthodox but becomes a symbol for the highly successful and historic transition into the new clinical buildings.
Lundquist, who along with Ted Chambers were the NCB executive administrators, rings a cowbell, and dozens of staff members who manned the command center and persevered during the two-day patient move break into cheers.
This ritual was repeated over the two-day period as each of the 20 hospital units and the adult and pediatric emergency departments completed transporting 240 patients to their destinations.
Throughout the day, the team tracked on two giant monitors each patient’s progress and was on hand for troubleshooting. A Pyxis machine set at 95 degrees? No problem. Missing keys? We’ll get them up to you. Stuck elevator? Facilities engineers are on the way.
On hand to manage the monitor move, Tom Bradford said, “Everything worked, and we were done ahead of schedule.”
A prescription for easy transition
No sooner does the Adult Inpatient Pharmacy on Zayed 7 go live on Saturday, the eve of the patient move, when six stat ED medication orders churn out of the printer on sheets of distinctive pink paper. While technicians and pharmacists unpack in their spacious new workplace, others fill orders coming from the historic hospital, where units won’t move until the next day.
Three maternity nurses from Osler 2 arrive to pick up a high dose of IV oxytocin—and get a glimpse of their new neighborhood. “It’s the first dose going out of here by computer,” says clinical pharmacist Lois Reynolds, a 38-year Hopkins veteran.
“Everything happened at once,” says Virna Almuete, the pharmacy’s division director. “The movers came, we switched phones, and we started handling emergent orders.” Additionally, the pharmacy was also “making sure that meds for the move are available, that we can respond to codes and that plenty of pharmacists are on hand for the sending and receiving teams.”
Watching the staff, some there on their day off, Almuete could only marvel, “We’ve never had the luxury of having the right amount of space for our work processes.”
A virtual lock
Thirty minutes before the old ED closes forever, it’s “business as usual” mixed with giddy excitement and big hugs. The staff snaps photos on smart phones, empty treatment areas, haul crates crammed with supplies to their new digs in the Zayed Tower and, oh yes, treat remaining patients, including the six who just came through the door.
At 7 a.m., Gabe Kelen, director of emergency medicine, arrives to lock the doors but without the correct key. “We lost that 30 years ago,” he says. Instead, staff members place barricades in front of the entrance, and a sign directs walk-in patients to the new ED.
“It’s a virtual lock,” says ED nurse Michelle N. Whitefield, ready with the punch line.
Then, most of the ED staff walk to their new workplace. Among them is Marge Johnson, manager of registration and billing who has worked in this dark, overcrowded space since 1980. “We thought this was state of the art,” says Johnson, who came to Hopkins 48 years ago as a 16-year-old “go-fer” and quickly got hooked on the adrenalin of emergency medicine. “I thought it was the most exciting place I’d ever seen,” Johnson says.
An unexpected move
Ollie Burley and Jacqueline Davis came north in March to celebrate their granddaughter’s first birthday but instead have remained at her bedside in CMSC 6. Weighing less than 1 pound at birth, Naomi Miracle Brielle Burley has chronic lung disease and has spent much of her life in one hospital or another, all the while becoming an active and smiling baby.
All along, her grandmothers have dropped everything to visit Naomi and support her parents, Jeronda and Ernest Burley Jr. “They fight over who gets to change her diapers,” says Naomi’s mom.
On Sunday, the Burleys learned that Naomi would be moved to Bloomberg 9. “Not everyone is excited about the move; we wanted to take our daughter home,” Jeronda Burley says.
Although the move wasn’t cause for celebration, it went smoothly for Naomi, and the two grandmothers did get to experience the transition between the former and the new children’s center. Sitting in a cozy corner outside Naomi’s room, the two women admire their new surroundings.
“We were blown away,” Ollie Burley says.
Reflecting upon Naomi’s many months in the NICU, Davis says that the very fact that her granddaughter is here to occupy the sunny room, is “huge.”
Blessings for old and new
Clinician technician Hazel J. Harrell has been too busy to think about the Carnegie PACU’s move to Zayed 3. “It didn’t hit me until the last patient left for preop, half an hour ago,” she says. Then, Harrell and her co-workers gather for a blessing to mark the close of their unit, first opened on Nov. 10, 1953. For the chaplain’s office, the blessing was one of more than 30 requested by caregivers in honor of the old and the new.
Some 24 clinicians in scrubs link hands. Chaplain Tahara Akmal strikes a tiny Tibetan singing bowl three times, sending a unifying vibration through the room.
She reminds staff: “When we walk away, we are not alone but part of a great community.” The blessing comforts Harrell, who is known to draw angels on the adhesive of patients’ IVs, and who has worked at Hopkins for 41 years. On Monday, Akmal arrives with Ty Crowe, the hospital’s interim director of pastoral care, to bless the new PACU on Zayed-Bloomberg 3. The team joins hands, the sound of three chimes linger in the air, and this time, the chaplains’ words look toward tomorrow: “We invite the spirit of hope and compassion into every corner of this space.”
Hello sous vide, good bye steam tables!
On Sunday afternoon, the first food carts rattled along the underground tow line, destined for the first patients in the new clinical towers. It was all part of a culinary sea change in the sub-basement of the Orleans Garage: The hospital’s new kitchen opened, and, the era of conveyer belt, one-size-fits-all patient food service at Hopkins came to an end.
The new kitchen’s design and technology allows made-to-order meals and supports the same service in the old kitchen in the historic hospital. “We can deliver the most full-flavored food to patients on diets and not make the rest of the house suffer,” says Jakob Fatica, patient service executive chef.
Perhaps the kitchen’s most intriguing feature are two 500-gallon cook tanks, where food is prepared “sous vide,” a method of cooking food sealed in plastic bags in water baths for as long as 72 hours. All the rage for foodies, “sous vide” works as well in bulk, Fatica says: “Once a batch of chicken has reached 165 degrees in the water tank, I’ll raise the water temperature to 175 degrees and the chicken cooks for three more hours. It’s very tender.”