The fit-up period is one of the most important (and expensive) times in the hospital transition planning process. During the fit-up period, the owners must staff the building with security, housekeeping services, facility and engineering staff, as well as prepare the hospital for occupation by placing furniture, equipment and systems into the building. From a clinical perspective however, the fit-up period represents a time when patient care staff are tasked with orienting themselves to their new department spaces, stocking all the unit supplies, learning to work any new equipment and systems, and practicing common, high-risk, and any new workflows as a team.
One of the most important messages the transition planning project manager must convey is that staff must be given adequate time to familiarize themselves with the building and learn how to work as a team in the new space. Many times, the non-clinical project team expects the hospital to open quickly after the keys are handed over to the owner. Unfortunately, they do not fully realize the necessity of multiple training sessions in the new facility with furniture, equipment, and systems in place and working properly, so staff understand exactly how they will care for their patients safely and efficiently.
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