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Moving Healthcare Facility Locations? Eight Ways To Ensure Your Move Runs Smoothly
Thursday Sep 12, 2019

Whether your healthcare organization is physically moving to take advantage of a new location or as part of an organizational need for more space or downsizing, it can be a challenging experience for staff and patients alike.

Planning for the move of a healthcare organization requires specialized skills and experience, and significant amounts of planning time to execute properly. By selecting an appropriate manager for the project, identifying and mitigating any issues, and having a well-designed strategic transition plan, you’ll have a great opportunity to emerge a hero and not the victim of unforeseen circumstances.

The following checklist is designed to help develop and earn acceptance for your transition plan, avoid common pitfalls, and prepare your organization for a successful move.

  1. Select the Right Person to Lead the Charge

Your most important decision is selecting the person responsible for planning and executing your move. Often, organizations lack someone internally who is available and willing to do the job. Can your internal candidates answer yes to the following?

If “no” to any of the above, you may want to hire an experienced project manager to ensure planning through execution runs smoothly. Or, consider hiring a professional consultant to work with an internal coordinator. The consultant should have experience in managing moves for healthcare organizations.

  1. Identify Departments Impacted by the Move/Transition

If moving to a new location, every department will be affected. When you are relocating departments within an existing location, you may only need to deal with the members of those departments. But even with intra-office moves, some departments, such as IT and Finance, will need to get involved. You’ll want the Finance department’s support for budget approvals and payments. IT will need to be on hand to install or reconfigure computer systems and equipment.

Engaging with all involved departments leads to more seamless transitions during the move. For example, by engaging early on with IT, you’ll have a much better idea of when to upgrade technologies, identify and develop training resources and arrange for a cutover plan. Your job here is to help affected staff members prepare for the move, individually and in aggregate.

  1. Identify and Engage All Stakeholders

Develop a stakeholder analysis to determine all move participants. Create a governance model and elect individuals in each department, or external organization, who can make strategic and funding decisions.

Common stakeholders for healthcare organizations include:

  1. Prepare a Communications Plan

Throughout your transition, you will need to communicate across all departments, keeping management, employees, suppliers, partners and contractors informed and aware of the roles they each need to play and the activities they need to complete to make the transition go smoothly. Develop and time external communications to keep customers/patients informed about the move and where they need to go. Your top-level communication plan needs to include the following:

  1. Align Finance with Strategic Direction

The cost of your move may affect the strategic direction of your organization or departments.

  1. End-to-End Planning

Plan for all activities impacting your move and the time and cost required for each activity. Common considerations include:

  1. Create a Realistic Project Plan

When planning your move, it’s critical to have your stakeholders’ full understanding and acceptance. Your project plan should address the following questions:

  1. Prepare to Mediate

Conflicts are almost inevitable with any transition. Things rarely go exactly as planned, so flexibility is key. When a dispute can’t be resolved quickly, it helps to have a good mediation plan in place. Often, the move represents a change management initiative, which means it is likely you will also need to explore resource management methodologies, potential changes in roles, etc.


Given the importance of cost-containment, it is crucial to have the elements above addressed long beforehand. Be ready to make adjustments throughout the process; as with any move, adaptability is important. While a strategic plan may not make your move fun, it can certainly make it less stressful.

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