TRURO - Just under 12 minutes.
That's how long it took for a team to transfer a patient from the current Colchester Regional Hospital to the future site - the Colchester East Hants Health Centre - during a mock exercise yesterday morning.
With facility planning director Cheryl Graham as the patient, the exercise brought to light one of the most important things the move team will keep in mind when close to 100 patients are transported on Nov. 25.
"One of the most important things we learned came from our patient," said Krista Wood, director of public relations for the Colchester East Hants Health Authority. "We continued to let her know what we were doing and what to expect."
From the furthest in-patient unit in the current site to the furthest in-patient unit at the new site on Abenaki Road, Graham was kept up to date on why she was making contact with so many people during the move.
"It's just to offer reassurance to the patient along the way," said Wood.
During the exercise, which included members of the patient transfer working group, Emergency Health Services (EHS) and Health Care Relocations (HCR), Kenda McCallum, a patient care leader and the unit sender for the move, gave Graham's particulars to receiving room nurse Reta Crowe, who was the transport nurse.
At the same time, a lift team, comprised of Debbie Burris, director of clinic practice transformation, and occupational therapist Ansley MacPherson, worked with Dwayne Semple, EHS regional manager for the northeastern operations, and Jim Wells, operations supervisor for Truro and district, on lifting the patient from the bed to the stretcher.
"The mock move was really helpful in revealing a number of things," said Wood. "It gave us a chance to look at the more logistic things, such as straightening out the heights we will have the patient beds to correspond with the stretchers. It also showed us that by having Cheryl as our patient - she is a smaller patient - and 50 per cent of our patients are heavier and it takes sometimes four or five nurses to lift the patient. We need to follow up now to make sure we have more people for our lift teams."
On the day of the move, officials hope to have patient transfers every five minutes. Jeff Gosselin, vice-president of operations and senior project manager with Health Care Relocations - the moving company assisting the move - said that number is only a target.
"Once it happens a few times, that number could go down to about three minutes," he said before the team started the exercise.
He said, however, each patient is different and the teams preparing the patient transfers may change that depending on the patient needs.
"Patient needs are most important," he said. "If it takes longer than five minutes, that's OK because you can make that time up later."
While the move week begins Nov. 19, the patients won't be moved until Nov. 25.
"We're hoping to start moving our patients at 9 that morning, so we're still working on our logistics to keep moving patients smoothly," said Wood, adding people who are not part of the move won't be allowed on site that day.
"Part of the process when it comes to patient transfer is a follow up with patients' families. There will be a volunteer who will be able to call the patient's family and tell them things went OK, where they're at and when they can start visiting."
On Nov. 25, the emergency rooms in both facilities will continue to see patients - until 7 a.m. at the current facility and as of 7 a.m. at the new site.