Q&A Tuesday: Hospital chief predicts a smooth transition between old, new hospitals

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Kevin Stansbury Chief Operations Officer of Carson-Tahoe Hospital smiles in one of the maternity rooms at the hospital.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Kevin Stansbury Chief Operations Officer of Carson-Tahoe Hospital smiles in one of the maternity rooms at the hospital.

Kevin Stansbury, chief operations officer of Carson-Tahoe Hospital, has been a part of planning the hospital's move from 775 Fleischmann Way to the new medical center on Medical Parkway for the last 2 1/2 years.

Stansbury, 46, lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Dayton. They have three children: Brandon, 22; Erin, 20; and Katie, 19.

Carson-Tahoe Hospital has served the community since 1949. The replacement, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, is scheduled to be completed in December. Under construction for more than two years, the regional medical center incorporates 352,000 square feet of health-care innovation. With 140 private patient rooms, the new facility adds nearly 60 percent more acute-care capacity.

How is construction going on the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center?

Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center construction is going very well. We expect to complete construction late this fall and be occupied before the end of the year.

When will you close the old hospital?

Services at Carson-Tahoe Hospital will continue until we complete the patient move. We have been working with the Carson Fire Department, the state Health Department and our physicians to complete the patient move in one day. When we complete our planning, we will provide plenty of notice to the public.

Upon completion of the move, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center will provide health care for our region including expanded cardiology services, emergency room services and private patient rooms. Our existing hospital will be closed for renovation to a long-term acute-care hospital and a variety of outpatient services.

What are the steps Carson-Tahoe has taken to make sure the move goes smoothly?

Jim Verhey, president of Normandale Associates, has been retained to help us manage our transition. Verhey is a nationally known expert, having planned and implemented hospital moves for 25 years. Working closely with Verhey, our entire staff has been working on the move plan for several months.

We have established a variety of teams specializing in specific issues such as information technology, employee training, facility management, material procurement and patient-care services. Each team has been provided an extremely detailed list of issues to explore and address. Each department has an assigned move coordinator involved in every step. We feel especially proud to be working with Verhey as not only does he bring vast experience and an excellent national reputation, he is a Carson City resident.

How difficult is it to move an entire hospital?

Moving a hospital, which is a 24-hour operation encompassing several operating units, such as laboratory, food service, nursing services and housekeeping, is a very intricate process. The effort will be challenging as we work to identify and manage a variety of details related to the patient move. Several steps have been taken to ensure the move will be successful. Through Verhey, we've studied other hospitals that have made successful moves and learned from their experiences.

How long will it take to move the hospital?

The community will be amazed at our transition. While we will take several weeks to prepare the new medical center for patients, the patient move will take about six hours. Once completed, regional residents will be able to access health care.

How will you inform the community about the move and about the hospital's closing?

The community can expect communication about our move in every way possible. The Nevada Appeal will be a major communication resource, as well as radio, TV, direct mail and more. You can look for specific information about your new hospital and the move timeline beginning this summer.

On the day when the old hospital is closed, where should someone go with an emergency?

There will be more specific information as we get closer to the move date. On the date of the move, we will close the current emergency room, while we simultaneously open our new facility ensuring continuity of care. We will coordinate this conversion with local emergency response providers through a variety of communication and support services. No interruption in service will occur.

We will also include a variety of double protections such as an elaborate sign plan clearly indicating the location of the new emergency room and announcing the closing of the old emergency room. A number of volunteers will also be available to assist as necessary.

We will be discussing with the Carson Fire Department the idea of posting an ambulance at the old hospital for some time after we've closed. As far as women in labor, the new regional medical center will accept laboring mothers on the morning of the patient move. But don't worry, we will make sure you have all the information you need prior to our move.

Will the new medical center have an open house for the public?

Absolutely, we can't wait. The entire medical center will be open for a day in November. It will occur before the patient move, so you'll be able to access every part of the hospital, including surgery suites, cardiac beds, patient rooms and everything else.


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