Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chief of Staff for Integration & Transition

In this week's article, I'd like to talk about the upcoming inpatient move. For the past nine months, experts from Walter Reed Army Military Center (WRAMC) and National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) have been hard at work developing an intricate movement plan to transfer WRAMC inpatients to NNMC. The mission of the move is to have a safe, uninterrupted, transfer of patient care.

This plan has been carefully orchestrated to minimize the travel time and adverse impact on the local communities. The inpatient move will occur in a carefully sequenced several hour period on a Sunday late in August. The sequencing plan will be finalized the morning of the move based on the actual patient census, acuity, and unit. A patient will be sequenced from different units and transported approximately every three to five minutes. The reason for alternating between units is an attempt to prevent both the sending and receiving units from being overtaxed at any one time. Sequencing and all aspects of each move will be closely monitored and documented by a Movement Control Center (MCC) at WRAMC and a Receiving Control Center (RCC) located at NNMC.

The majority of patients will be moved individually by ambulance. Depending on the acuity and special needs of each patient, some may be accompanied by a Nurse and/or a Provider. With assistance from local law enforcement authorities (Montgomery County Police and Metropolitan Police Department), the ambulance will travel, without the interruption of traffic signals, from WRAMC to NNMC. Once arriving at NNMC, ambulances will be directed to one of two receiving sites. After a review of the patient's status, the patient will receive an identification band and be transported directly to the planned accepting designated unit. Ambulances will then be sanitized, restocked, and returned to WRAMC to complete another evolution.

Family members of patients will be able to travel via shuttle from WRAMC to NNMC, or utilize reserved parking on the NNMC campus if they opt to use their P.O.V. Patient families will be asked to delay visiting their inpatient family member until later in the afternoon of the move day. Once arriving at NNMC, they will be escorted to a Family Reception Center (FRC) and receive a visitor information to acquaint them with NNMC, the condition of their family member, and an estimated time for when they will be able to be on the ward with their family member. The FRC Staff will liaison between the family and the nursing unit, and when appropriate, will escort family to the inpatient unit.

On the day of the inpatient movement evolution, the NNMC campus will be full of activity receiving patients and families while also expanding clinical and ancillary support services to meet the demands of the patient population. All staff are advised that the installation entry and exit points will be restricted. We are asking that anyone not actually involved in the day's move operation please avoid coming to the NNMC campus.

The relocation of WRAMC inpatients to the NNMC campus is an important milestone in the BRAC timeline. In order to prepare for this extensive undertaking, participating NNMC and WRAMC staff will undergo extensive training to ensure that the staff is fully aware of roles, responsibilities, and expectations. On Sunday, 12 June, 2011, NNMC and WRAMC will conduct an Inpatient Movement Rehearsal Exercise (MRX). The MRX is designed to test all aspects of the WRAMC-NNMC inpatient move plan. During the exercise, 12 simulated patients will be transported via ambulance from WRAMC to NNMC. Lessons learned during the MRX will be incorporated into the final move plan.

Our plan and vision is to promote staff and patient safety throughout this evolution, and that our efforts culminate in seamless quality, patient and family center care as OUR new patients arrive on the NSA Bethesda campus. Once again, thank you all for your hard work and dedication. Your efforts are making history!

Chief of Staff for Integration and Transition sends