Bethesda Holds ‘Day in the Life’ to Ensure Smooth Transition, Seamless Patient Care

Capt. David Bitonti, Chief of Staff for Integration and Transition at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda Md.

By Capt. David Bitonti, Chief of Staff for Integration and Transition at NNMC, Bethesda Md.

Last week, our staff held a “Day in the Life” (DIL) exercise here at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) to ensure a smooth transition and seamless patient care as the hospital embarks on a historical merger with Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC).

Focusing on services not previously offered at NNMC, the exercise tested six scenarios designed to evaluate systems and process involving high risk, high volume and potentially problem-prone areas or processes. It was also an opportunity to review patient flow patterns. Staff within clinics and services conducted their own DIL activities specific to their functional areas. In the coming weeks, additional equipment training, scavenger hunts, life safety training, and open houses will be held for new staff.

To assist WRAMC staff in developing curriculum for their functional areas, clinics and wards on workspace specific training, workspace trainer,  or “Train the Trainer,” sessions were held in April. This training included departmental orientation, equipment familiarization and operation, and life safety measures.

In addition, transitional orientation sessions began on May 17, and will continue through July 21, to train about 3,000 staff members relocating from WRAMC and Malcolm Grow Medical Center. The training will touch on cultural integration, evolving into a world-class hospital, and “Making the Transition,” which includes items in the “Onboarding” process, such as check-in, parking, and ID badging. Sessions were opened with a welcome address from the NNMC leadership.

Workspace orientation and equipment training is scheduled from June through August 2011, for each of the end-user areas and focused on the particular mission of that area.

This includes cross training of personnel from both WRAMC and NNMC, with the purpose of blending our staff and cultures.

All staff members relocating to NNMC are required to attend an orientation session, and newly reporting NNMC staff members who have arrived since December 2010 are also encouraged to attend. To prepare to serve in a Medical Home environment, and provide safe patient- and family-centered quality care to patients, all staff relocating to Bethesda must participate in this training.

Our focus continues to be our three objectives of patient and staff safety, quality patient care, and continuous survey readiness. By participating in these assessment, orientation, and educational activities we will be successful and meet these objectives.

I would like to thank those involved with the integration for their efforts and dedication while assisting with the preparation for and execution of the moves and continuing to provide superb world class care to our patients and their families during this time of increased tempo and patient census.