Checking the children's hospital expansion project's progress are, from left, Nate McKenney, construction coordinator; Wesley Smith, nurse manager; and Chris Collado, clinical liaison.
Checking the children's hospital expansion project's progress are, from left, Nate McKenney, construction coordinator; Wesley Smith, nurse manager; and Chris Collado, clinical liaison.

Anatomy of change: Pull-schedule session starts peds tower transition

Published on Thursday, August 15, 2019

By: Annie Oeth, aoeth@umc.edu

The human anatomy is made of systems working in concert, each depending on the performance of others.

Pediatric hospitals are no different.

In planning for what will be an historic move into a new seven-story pediatric expansion, leaders from throughout Children’s of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center met July 17 to identify key tasks that need to happen between now and the tower’s opening day in fall 2020. Finding the right timing and order for these jobs will ensure a smooth transition, said Chris Collado, clinical liaison for the project.

“The whole point of this was to get all the departments contributing to the facility’s activation in the same room so all could hear the same information and come up with a schedule that’s realistic and accepted by everyone,” Collado said. “It’s as if everyone has a piece of a 1,000-piece puzzle, and we’re finding a way together to finish the puzzle.”

Driscoll DeVaul, center, director of respiratory and pulmonary services at Batson Children's Hospital, talks with colleagues from across Children's of Mississippi to plan the move into the expansion.
Driscoll DeVaul, center, director of respiratory and pulmonary services at Batson Children's Hospital, talks with Children's of Mississippi colleagues to plan the move.

The 76 attendees, armed with markers and sticky notes, jotted down tasks and moved them around from square to square on an oversized calendar with input from others, settling on the optimum time for each job.

“Our next step is to take all of this information and import it into project management software,” Collado said, “so we’ll have a map to take us to where we want to be. We take for granted all the actions that we assume will happen. What’s great about a pull-schedule session is that you take all those assumptions and talk about them and find answers.”

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Giesecke

Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children’s of Mississippi, said the number of participants in the pull-schedule session shows the level of dedication and excitement over the completion of the expansion.

“The turnout and engagement were excellent and reflective of the work ethic that defines our team,” he said. “Because of their contribution, we’ll have a fully informed roadmap that will ensure operational readiness and successful activation of our expansion.”

Driscoll DeVaul, Children’s director of respiratory care, said the meeting boosted collaboration. “The facilitators of the meeting did a great job of keeping the group focused and engaged on the tasks at hand, and the turnout among team members created a highly productive and meaningful work session,” he said.

Example tasks show the process of a move: Food can't be stocked until a refrigerator is installed and the food order is placed.
Example tasks show the process of a move: For example, food can't be stocked until a refrigerator is installed and the food order is placed.

Collado said getting the group, representing a cross-section of disciplines, together in one space was fuel for the transition process. “After the meeting, the theme we’ve heard is that this gave everyone a sense of urgency and direction as well as the level of detail involved in this transition.”

UMMC’s pediatric expansion will more than double the square footage of current children’s hospital space. The seven-story tower will include 88 private neonatal intensive care rooms, 10 new surgical suites, additional space for larger private pediatric intensive care rooms, a pediatric imaging center and an outpatient specialty clinic with a new parking garage close by.

The $180 million project is within budget and on schedule, said Patrick Casey, executive director of UMMC’s Office of Planning, Design and Construction. Earlier this summer, leaders in medicine, government and philanthropy celebrated the project reaching its full height. Walls and windows, doors and elevators are being added to shape the space that will transform children’s health care in the state.

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Taylor

“Our medical professionals have world-class skills,” said Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair, professor and chair of pediatrics. “Soon we will be moving into a hospital space that will match those skills. It is exciting to see our multidisciplinary team working together to prepare for this great future space.”

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