HTS “Day in the Life” is a simulation-based testing exercise designed to prepare clinical staff to deliver care safely in a new facility. During the exercise, scenarios developed from unit specific situations, are used to engage clinical staff. Scenarios are a beneficial tool that provides staff and clinical leaders with a method to identify operational issues and training opportunities that have not yet been identified or resolved. They also promote interdepartmental and interdisciplinary collaboration among staff and physicians, by facilitating open dialogue and teamwork.

Using Scenario Building to Identify Issues

As a hospital prepares to transition into a new facility, it is imperative that all systems be tested and operational.  The process of developing unit specific scenarios improves the leaders’ ability to identify potential clinical and operational issues, while enhancing their awareness of gaps and concerns. Several months prior to the Day in the Life exercise, the HTS Transition Planning team mentors clinical staff in the activity of scenario development.  HTS Day in the Life planning services includes 6-8 draft-scenarios per clinical area. Scenarios focus on the department’s workflow, equipment, activities, and/or emergencies that occur.  The development of scenarios can provide a revelation for all participants involved in the transition. New and unknown situations unfold, eliciting an “A-ha!” moment for the client, as they become aware of new situations they had not previously considered. As a result, departments unite; working together to tackle the newly identified issues, and define opportunities for training and orientation required for moving forward.

Using Scenarios to Promote Interdepartmental Collaboration Early

All departments rely on one another to provide great care and deliver the best patient experience possible. When transitioning into the new space, interdepartmental planning is a fundamental requirement. The months leading up to Day in the Life, are ideal for brainstorming and problem solving between departments.  During this time, HTS assists clinical staff to interact with the departments that they typically interface with so that they can transform their workflow into scenarios. By promoting this collaboration among patient care, ancillary and support departments, the HTS transition planning team creates the opportunity for staff to work together and problem solve with other departments around the issues identified. This strategy promotes positive interactions between departments by fostering an environment that encourages early communication and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Role playing as a method for identifying solutions

The goal of Day in the Life is to identify and resolve issues prior to day one of operations. HTS’ role is to provide clients with oversight during the scenario, evaluate the completion of expected outcomes, document obstacles and issues, and obtain feedback from the mock patients. To meet these goals within each department, HTS assigns staff to various roles and responsibilities including: directing, evaluating, recording, observing, and most importantly, acting as a staff member or patient. By assigning staff to these roles, they become accountable for their new workflows and operations. These roles represent the various lenses through which issues are identified and problems solved.

Typically, HTS performs between one and three Day in the Life events. With each event, new issues and risks are revealed, evaluated and resolved. As the facility moves through each consecutive event, the complexity of the testing increases and the new facility is able to resolve issues prior to day one of operations. By problem solving in advance, promoting interdepartmental collaboration, and allowing staff to “role play” within their setting, the healthcare facility creates a safer and stronger foundation for the opening of their new facility. Day in the Life scenarios support the organization by laying the foundation for a successful future.