Countdown to opening: children’s and women's hospital teams begin mock scenarios in new facility

July 19, 2019
A group stands in the hallway of the not-yet-finished hospital. Brown paper is taped to the floor. Many of the people hold maps.
A group of care team members discusses its scenario during the first "Day in the Life" run-through at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women's Pavilion. Photo by Sarah Pack

Consider the typical logistical questions that come up when moving into a new house: Where’s the best spot for the coffeepot? Can the furniture be navigated up the stairs? What’s this mystery light switch that doesn’t seem to power anything?

Now multiply those questions by a brand new 11-story, 624,000-square-foot, $390 million hospital. That’s the challenge facing clinical teams as they prepare for the October opening of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion.

To ensure they’re ready to handle anything on Day 1, teams from every unit are participating in a series of “Day in the Life” sessions to run through typical scenarios. The exercises are meant to familiarize team members with the building – Where will medications and equipment be stored? What route is best to get a patient to the MRI?– and to uncover issues that might have been missed.

“This is your chance to try that out a little bit and document it. Figure out what works well and figure out what maybe worked really well on paper but just doesn’t quite work as well as somebody thought it would,” Mark Scheurer, M.D., chief of the Children’s and Women’s Integrated Center of Clinical Excellence, told a group of about 250 doctors, nurses and members of the patient care team gathered Wednesday for the first Day in the Life.

A team stands in a patient room with clipboards and records issues they find 
Team members flipped light switches, flushed toilets, walked the routes they would take from procedure rooms to patient rooms and tried as many things they could think of to catch issues and refine processes in the new hospital. Photo by Sarah Pack
two women look at a map as they walk through a bare hallway 
With no signs on the walls indicating the floor, the unit, or where the elevators and stairs are, even clinical transition manager Regina Fraiya, right, and children's hospital and women's pavilion administrator Amy Hauser sometimes need maps to get around. Photo by Sarah Pack

The participants are designated “superusers,” said Regina Fraiya, R.N., clinical transition manager. They’re charged with returning to their units and sharing what they’ve learned. Unit managers will also schedule shifts at the new hospital to ensure there’s always a superuser on hand.

Wednesday’s Day in the Life, Fraiya told the group, was a chance to shine for anyone who’d ever wanted to be an actor. The building is still a construction zone – so the group wasn’t allowed above the fifth floor – and none of the technology is in place yet. Instead, the unit teams played out carefully constructed scenarios that mimicked situations they routinely face.

One team walked through the motions of admitting a burn patient. Team members needed to figure out where supplies were stored, call respiratory therapy, draw blood and figure out where to send it, take the patient to the hydrotherapy room and then call child life.

Three people examine a monitor that still has plastic wrap over it.  
Care teams tested workflows during the first Day in the Life. When they return for follow-up sessions, more of the technology will be available and members of the Children's Health Patient and Family Advisory Council will join in. Photo by Sarah Pack

And after all that, the patient locked himself in the bathroom.

Another team’s scenario involved assessing a bariatric patient’s room. At first, it seemed like the extendable arm that holds a computer was blocking the bathroom door from opening all the way; then they realized the arm was simply stiff because it was new. However, they did think the placement of the toilet paper roll would be in the way for bariatric patients.

In the women’s pavilion, team members pressed the nurse call button and then had to track down where it was sounding. In the Emergency Department, members noted that detachable monitors that travel with patients to their floors are great, but there must be a mechanism by which to get the monitors back to the ED.

“Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun. They’ve uncovered some issues that we need to solve, but there’s a lot of engagement, and people really seem to enjoy their new homes,” Scheurer said.

Wednesday’s superusers will return for another Day in the Life in August and a final one in September. Each new session will add more elements. The technology will be in place and there will be more beds and equipment. Members of the Patients and Family Advisory Council will also participate.

Fraiya thanked the group in a post-session meeting for everyone’s thorough work.

nurses stand around a dummy mother made with pillows and fake eyelashes in a new mother-baby room 
Care team members had fun creating a "patient" in this mother-baby room. Photo by Leslie Cantu

“You are part of history and making life for all of us and the patients we serve so much better when we move into that wonderful building,” she said.

Scheurer was energized by the day.

“For me, it’s been really exciting,” he said. “Before today, this first Day in the Life has always been just a mark on the calendar. Today is the first time we’ve had large groups of our care teams in the building at the same time, and it makes it feel more like a home. A hospital home.”



Children's Hospital

Rendering of the exterior of the Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital

The Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women's Pavilion will transform how care is delivered to children and women, seamlessly integrating children’s care with obstetrical services.

About the Author

Leslie Cantu
MUSC Catalyst News

Keywords: Pediatrics, Features