A Day in the Life

May 2, 2012

Hospital Staff Prepares for Move, Tests Operations at the
New University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

With Patient Move Day only three weeks away, hundreds of physicians, nurses and other Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) staff played out three dozen scenarios today in a daylong exercise to test the operations of every department within the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.

The state-of-the-art hospital in Plainsboro, which opens to patients on May 22, will replace PHCS' current acute-care hospital in Princeton. Called "Day in the Life," today's exercise was the third operational rehearsal at the new hospital within the past two weeks. The two prior exercises included another Day in the Life and a mock patient move, both held in April.

"Moving a hospital is a remarkably complex challenge," said PHCS President and CEO Barry Rabner. "Not only are we moving vulnerable patients but we will be caring for them in a new environment. For those reasons we have been planning every step of this relocation for months, and that is why we are here today, to practice until we are perfect."

Between today and the prior Day in the Life held April 18, some 600 PHCS staff members participated in 70 scenarios involving every hospital department. The scenarios starred a wide range of patients: mothers and newborns, young children, patients receiving treatment in the new Edward & Marie Matthews Center for Cancer Care, an elderly man who enters the Emergency Department and is rushed directly upstairs to the operating suite. The action alternated between the routine and emergencies requiring personnel to respond from units throughout the hospital.

Each scenario was written to test operations that involve cooperation between multiple departments. For example, patient floors and the surgical suite tested sending blood and tissue samples to the lab in two ways-hand delivery and through a series of pneumatic tubes that allow various items to be transferred quickly and safely between departments. Other scenarios simulated emergencies requiring personnel to respond from several locations in the 636,000-square-foot building.

Visit the following links for photos and videos of today's event.