Moving a hospital, clinic or medical facility from one location to another can be a daunting prospect, whether it’s moving a few miles or several continents away. A great deal of preparation goes into planning and executing a successful move, long before the architects and construction team is done.
Part of the process may include warehousing inventory until the new building is ready, when your last-mile service provider will step in to move and install all of the equipment, furniture and fixtures (FF&E), from medical equipment to common area seating.
With so many moving parts – from proper timing to the reliability of your chosen team – how do you plan for a move of this nature? The following considerations will help you prepare and understand what to expect when dealing with your moving team.
Ensuring a successful move starts even before your team is in place with the selection of the right professionals for the job. If you’re a hospital administrator already working with an Initial Outfitting and Transition Company (IOT), they can likely provide a recommendation for a reputable moving company.
If you’re wondering how to vet and find a company you can trust, these tips can help.
First, remember that you’re not buying a service as much as you’re buying a level of trust, confidence and assurance that the job will be done on time, on budget and done well. That means, in part, knowing that any equipment and furnishings that will be warehoused are tracked properly, stored safely and transported with care. It also means knowing that the moving company you choose has the equipment and manpower to meet your timeline and moving needs.
Check to be sure that the company you’re considering is a recognized vendor in the space with experience moving the type of equipment that you need moved. When in doubt, ask for references and follow through by checking those references to be sure the company has the qualities you need. Ask questions about the company’s performance, the timeliness of their work, their responsiveness, accountability and their ability to set, manage and maintain expectations.
A good track record will speak for itself and provide a reasonable expectation of success for your move.
Check the overall financial stability of the company you’re considering. A well-established and stable company is a good sign that you’re dealing with a reputable company that is less likely to cut corners or jeopardize your move.
Finally, be sure that the company you’re considering is equipped to handle your geographic requirements. If you’re moving to an overseas facility, be sure your prospective moving company has the capability and track record to provide this type of service.
Moving from one medical facility to another is often more complex than other types of moves due to time constraints, the type of equipment being moved, installation and setup requirements of the new facility and more. Something as seemingly simple as the order in which the rooms in a new facility are furnished and equipped can have far reaching consequences to the overall success of the move.
That’s what makes planning such an important component of a successful move.
When moving a medical facility, hospital or clinic, the time window is elongated compared to other types of moves. It’s likely that you’ll need to bring a moving company on board 1-2 years in advance of the move, especially if it includes the warehousing of inventory. That makes it even more important to understand your timing needs and to find a company that has the warehousing space available as well as the staffing and scheduling ability to accommodate your needs.
Planning meetings between hospital administrators and IOT providers may be held every month at first, then every week as the time of the move nears. These meetings will ensure that all team members are on track and that timelines and expectations are met.
As you plan your move, you will also want to consider insurance. Your hospital or facility may already provide coverage to help mitigate risk, or you may want to request insurance from your moving company. For high value equipment or large jobs, look for coverage up to a $100 million value.
Remember that even a well-planned job can have unexpected setbacks so protecting your investment is an important planning step.
It’s important to understand that a successful move relies in part on an ongoing planning and collaborative process between hospital management, the IOT team and your moving company. Use this valuable time to set expectations, timelines and needs.
It can take two to six months from when you pull the trigger on initial delivery until you have full occupancy of your new facility, so be sure to work that into your plan and timeline.
Asset tracking software will allow your moving company to load vehicles accordingly to be sure they’re accessing the right goods at the right time for delivery and installation.
Furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) deliveries should be made at the request of hospital administration or the IOT company and are typically accomplished in a methodical and ordered fashion depending on your needs and priorities.
In a multi-story building, installation may be done top-down, floor by floor and room by room. You may also need certain rooms or departments prioritized depending on the movement and needs of your staff in the new facility. This should all be laid out during the planning process and then executed accordingly.
Your moving company should understand your priorities and ensure that equipment and furnishings are placed in the desired location in their designated places so that your building will be ready to open on time.
Whether you’re moving into a new local hospital or expanding your facility cross-country or overseas, a smooth transition relies on the collaboration and effectiveness of your chosen teams. Hospital administrators, the Initial Outfitting and Transition Company (IOT) and the moving company each play a vital role in planning and executing a relocation.
Ensuring proper warehousing, planning for critical time windows and coordinating the movement and installation of furnishings and equipment are just some of the considerations to address. And finding a moving company you can trust is one of the vital components of the process; but finding one with a proven track record, reliable references and deep experience in the medical space will give you confidence that you’ve made the right choice.
Contact us to find out how we can be the right fit for your team and help make the process of transitioning between medical facilities a trouble-free experience.