US Naval Hospital Guam make transition preparations

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US Naval Hospital Guam make transition preparations

by: Jennifer Zingalie | .
Naval Hospital Guam | .
published: April 01, 2014

AGANA HEIGHTS, GUAM – U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Staff participated in patient transfer drills March 31st from the current hospital to the replacement hospital.

After 60 years of operations the current hospital will be decommissioned with all of its functions moving into the replacement facility. Hospital services will transfer to the new facility function, for function with MRI being the only new service offered.

"We took our actual patient census on the day of this drill and went through the motions of transferring them across to the new hospital.  We have spent lots of time doing this on paper, but you can’t ever be sure of how it will go until you actually do it," said Cmdr. Patrick Fitzpatrick the hospital's transition coordinator. "We need to be sure that we’ll be able to drive our ambulance along the route we’ve chosen, we need to know how long it will take to prepare the patient and get them comfortable enough for the transfer, whether the road will be too bumpy and so on."

The purpose of the drill was to ensure both staff and equipment were prepared for the move. The goal is to ensure the safety and well being of the hospital's patients. "Moving our patients is the riskiest part of the transition; we’re taking them out of our comfort zone (the inpatient ward) and going outside our walls for a brief period," he explained and added, "Our practice, practice, practice of this event will help ensure we have thought about every contingency.  Our goal is to make this a safe, uneventful move for our patients."

The transition will begin April 11th and will end April 20th, after which the replacement hospital will be open for business and in full swing. The emergency room and mother baby unit, at the replacement hospital, are scheduled to open April 20th at 7 a.m.

According to Fitzpatrick, building a structure is easy and predictable. "Taking that structure and turning it into a living, breathing hospital is a monumental undertaking.  Our entire staff has spent hundreds of hours at the table over the last 2 years," he said.  "We’ve planned the spaces, the equipment, and how the space will serve and function.  All of that time is focused on the five days we’ll spend moving into the building and bringing it to life. 

"Our preparations have been time well spent; I’m 100% confident in the abilities of the men and women I work with to accomplish this incredibly complex task.  We’re ready!"

The replacement hospital provides 42 beds, four operating rooms, two C-Section rooms, and improved diagnostic and ancillary capabilities to include MRI and CT scanning suites.

For more information please refer to our website at http://1.usa.gov/1n4qQSh and click on the "New Hospital" tab at the top of the page. You can also find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/USNHGUAM  or you contact the hospital's Public Affairs Office at 344-9526.

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