Case Study: Patient Safety and Care Paramount for Emory University Hospital Move

250-patient move including an active intensive care unit

Background & Challenge

Emory University Hospital, part of Emory Healthcare, is a 587-bed facility that is one of seven hospitals that make up the largest healthcare system in the state of Georgia. More than 24,000 inpatients and 80,000 outpatients turn to the Atlanta-area hospital each year.

In 2017, Emory University Hospital opened a new tower, located directly across from the original building and connected by a pedestrian bridge. The new tower features 232 beds (including 40 for critical care) and is comprised of 450,000 square feet of space on nine levels.

The selection committee invited four companies to submit proposals, including Suddath®. The committee had to be extremely thoughtful when choosing a company for a large-scale patient relocation because the project included moving patients in varying critical conditions, as well as their life-sustaining equipment, without interrupting care. It also required moving a broad range of expensive medical equipment and highly sensitive lab materials, along with relocating staff and valuable work items – all of which required specialized care and expertise.

Solution

Emory University Hospital awarded Suddath the project due to its experience moving several other high-profile and specialized healthcare environments, such as U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, as well as for the extensive training its crew is required to have. The move of 250 patients, office contents, furniture and medical equipment was phased over three months, from the end of October through December of 2017.

Every aspect, from beginning to end, was coordinated with the Emory University Hospital stakeholders. A unique requirement for this move was that it needed to occur within the hospital’s own walls using the pedestrian bridge connecting the new and old buildings. Suddath’s single point of contact planned out each step of the logistics with stakeholders, ensuring the process would be as stress-free as possible for patients.

To further ensure patient safety and care, the names of the on-site and participating crew were provided to Emory University Hospital for security purposes, in addition to Suddath’s own full background checks that are done for all crew members. Before starting, the crew received instruction from the hospital staff on how they wanted the patients moved to their new rooms. This included the crew wearing medical gloves during the moves and changing gloves in between each patient transfer.

Care was taken with every single patient Suddath moved. Special precautions were taken with the intensive care unit patients, including wearing face masks during all transfers. Crew members made sure patients were as comfortable as possible while being moved and ensured minimal disruption to their care.

Results

Due to Suddath’s expertise, care and efficiency, the move was completed both on time and on schedule, working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the three-month timeframe.

“In the time since, Emory University Hospital has used Suddath for multiple one-off workplace moves, including crate rentals, and awarded the company an additional 70-patient move in the new tower,” said Emory University Hospital Facilities Manager.

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Location

Atlanta, Georgia

The Facts

  • 3 month timeline
  • 250 patients
  • 40 ICU patients moved
  • 30 average patients moved per day