Moving our Patients to the New Hospital, Practice Makes Perfect

I can say I was one of the first patients admitted to our new Hospital. I may not meet the age requirement but I can forever say I was among the first “patients” to roll into the new hospital here at Nationwide Children’s. How did this happen? I volunteered as part of “Mock Move Team” to practice and prepare for moving patients into the new hospital when it opens in June, 2012.

With more than six months until the full move (with a small number of patients moving earlier in the year), we’re starting now to make sure every detail has been tested and any potential problems identified. It’s a perfect example of “everything matters” in action. In fact when I arrived this morning everyone had on their red Move Team t-shirt and each shirt read, “When Moving You. Everything Matters.” – Too true!

Let’s get Moving!

Although I’ve worked in healthcare for 25 years, I’ve been thankful to never have an inpatient stay so it was a little strange laying down on that gurney for the first time (also wearing my work clothes). My Move Team was ready for me. Each child will have no less than eight physicians, nurses and support staff assisting.

The first step was for the Team to learn my “patient history”: a very medically fragile little girl with complex clinical needs. My patient had a feeding tube in her stomach and a tracheostomy in her throat to assist with breathing following cancer surgery to remove a neck tumor. What was most sobering was that my patient’s story was taken from the chart of an actual patient. It put everything into a different context as we prepared for the five-minute “ride” from the current hospital to my new home on the 5th floor pulmonary unit.

So Many Wows

Many things struck me from the patient perspective –
most notably all the natural light as soon as we crossed into the connector bridge. The new building is flooded with light through so many more windows with beautiful views of either the park or the downtown.

Entering the new tower we moved onto the patient elevator and looking up I noticed the butterflies and patterns working into the ceiling. A nice attention to detail for our patients. Arriving on the floor my team was ready to settle me into my new room, again with a very careful clinical pass-off. The new rooms are truly transformed with more space and so many amenities for families. I’ll be sharing more in future posts.

So Much More than Bricks and Mortar

Overall everything had gone very smoothly but the Team was ready with several suggestions for enhancing the process. Several other Move Teams just like mine would be providing similar feedback. As we traveled back to the main hospital, one Move Team was stopped on the bridge in a mock “Code Blue” with their patient; one of our pediatric simulation mannequins. Again, reality struck to think this is a reality we need to be prepared for. The good news is the “patient” recovered and was delivered safely to their new unit.

Here’s a fun video to show you how it all happened.


Thanks to the Move Team for the opportunity to participate in today’s session. It gave me fresh perspective on what the families can expect but also how hard our staff is working to perfect every detail for their care. Although the bricks and mortar of the new hospital are certainly beautiful it will be the hearts and hands of our staff that will bring it to life.


Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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