Spring Cleaning – Tips to Prep for Department Activation

By: Nick Tran

To ensure the smooth and successful activation of a new healthcare facility or department, it is important to be well-prepared for the complex and challenging task ahead. One way to get ready is by “spring cleaning” to declutter and organize your current space, thus making a move more efficient by ensuring the items transferred to the new space are those required to support planned operations. Here are some tips to help prepare for the activation process:

Create a plan

Before you begin “spring cleaning”, create a plan outlining what needs to be done. This should include a list of all areas and items that need to be cleaned and organized, as well as a timeline for completion.

Sort through items

As you begin the cleaning process, take the time to sort through each item and decide what to keep, donate, or dispose of. This will help reduce the amount of clutter and unnecessary items for relocation to the new space.

Studies have shown that a clean and organized environment can improve mental health and well-being. This is particularly important in healthcare facilities, where the environment can have a significant impact on patients’ recovery and healing.

Disinfect and clean

When cleaning in preparation for a healthcare facility move, it is crucial to pay special attention to items or areas that may harbor germs and bacteria. Clean any high-touch items and dispose of items that cannot be properly disinfected. Take note of any guidelines from leadership on the types of items are are/are not approved to move (e.g., furniture, plants, personal belongings), and be sure to reference your organization’s policy on items that may be prohibited in patient care areas, such as cardboard.

Donate or dispose of unnecessary items

Once you have sorted through your items and identified what you no longer need, consider donating or disposing of these items. Request guidance from leadership on opportunities to donate medical equipment or supplies that are no longer needed and how to properly dispose of hazardous materials in accordance with local regulations.

Organize and label

As you clean and declutter, take the time to organize and label your items. This will make it easier to locate items during the move and help ensure that everything is properly packed and transported to the new facility.

Disconnect and prepare equipment

If you are moving any medical equipment or machinery, it is important to properly disconnect and prepare these items for the move. This may involve consulting with a technician, clinical engineering, or the manufacturer, to ensure that the equipment is properly handled and transported. Be sure to build in the time to reconnect and configure the equipment in the new space in your overall schedule to minimize impact to patient care.

Coordinate with the moving company

If your organization is using a professional moving company, be sure to coordinate with them to ensure that everything is properly packed and transported to the new facility. This may include labeling items with the move company’s labels, providing them with a list of items to be moved, as well as any special handling instructions. Schedule packing training sessions with department move leads so they understand what types of containers and move equipment will be used for what.

Update your records and documents

As you prepare for the move, be sure to update your records and documents to reflect your new location. This may include updating your website and other marketing materials, as well as informing patients, vendors, and other healthcare providers of your new address and location.

Communicate with stakeholders

Keep all stakeholders informed about the department move process, including patients, staff, providers, and other departments within the hospital. This will help to ensure that everyone is aware of the impact and can prepare accordingly. Consider the use of patient letters, posters, and banners to support the cutover period.

Research has highlighted the importance of considering the impact of a hospital department’s move on patient care. This may involve identifying potential disruptions and developing strategies to mitigate them, as well as evaluating the impact of the move

Plan for the first few days in the new facility

Once you arrive at your new location, it is crucial to have a plan in place for the first few days. Include time and resources to set up equipment and supplies, get the facility ready for patients and coordinate with other departments to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Consider how issues will be reported and prioritized by departments. Additionally, considering the use of volunteers to support the first few days is recommended to support patients finding their way to their new space.

Following these tips will ensure that your department is properly cleaned and organized in preparation for the move. This will help make the move easier and ensure that you are ready to begin operations in your new location as soon as possible.