It’s Moving Day! Actually, it’s been moving month as we activated and moved in our clients at a wonderful regional medical center, opening a new 295,000-square-foot nursing tower. We have been keeping an “issues log” throughout this process, and I thought you might like to know what the most frequently encountered issues were from our users as they occupied two nursing units, five new ORs, and a PACU, as well as both an adult and a pediatric emergency department. Top of the List: DOORS–secure/non-secure, what should the flow be, can I get a wheelchair or stretcher through here, is the pushplate in a logical place, is the door blocking something else? Next up: SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDING–always a hot topic, we never cease to be amazed at inadequacy of the signage no matter how hard we try! A simple tip is to put multiple, repetitive signs up when you have a long walk to a destination. Tied for third: POWER AND DATA OUTLETS–most common last-minute request. No surprises there.

A few items we don’t hear very often:
• Can we adjust the sound levels of the alarms? This user group was very sensitive to making the tower a healing environment and saw ambient noises as an issue.
• Ambulance arrival area (a check-in space inside)–not on the plans but immediately needed when the new tower’s ED began to attract large numbers of ambulances.
• Cell phone signal–might as well survey your physicians now and find out which carriers they prefer so you can have antennas in place.
• Space for large-group briefings–those conference rooms looked huge on the plans but shrank when we tried to get the whole ED team or whole OR team in there for a shift-change briefing.

Last but not least, we learned you can’t have too much crowd space if you have invited a popular kids show character to your new pediatric ED opening! What will your moving day be like?