Children's Emergency Department is now located in Children's Tower: 1001 E. Marshall Street.

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A day in the life of caring for patients in the new Children’s Tower
February 07, 2023
CHoR Children's Tower team moving a patient bed during day in the life

    A day in the life of caring for patients in the new Children’s Tower

    Aside from a few finishing touches, construction of the new Children’s Tower is complete. Equipment is rolling in and artwork is going up – but the physical structure is only one piece of ensuring the Children’s Tower is ready to offer the best care for kids and families when it opens on April 30, 2023. The real beauty behind this magnificent new tower is the work that takes place inside, and the teams have started their practice runs through day-in-the-life exercises.

    What are day-in-the life exercises?

    “Last week marked the first of three day-in-the-life exercises, allowing our teams to test out their new space through a series of coordinated scenarios,” said Tracy Lowerre, nurse clinician and clinical liaison for the Children’s Tower. “Can they find what they need? Are the workflows as efficient as possible? Are there things we need to move or adjust before welcoming patients?”

    The emergency, critical care, surgery, acute care, post anesthesia care unit, imaging and pharmacy teams were given checklists to review and fictional, but realistic, scenarios to run through to acquaint themselves with the new environment.

    • An 11-year-old with respiratory illness is on the way to the PICU via ambulance.
    • A 5-year-old arrives at the Emergency Department requiring decontamination from a chlorine exposure and subsequent admission to the PICU.
    • A 6-year-old on the acute care floor is receiving a tube feeding and has a seizure.

    The teams addressed each situation from start to finish:

    • Is the room clean and ready for the patient?
    • Have all the team members needed for care been appropriately alerted?
    • Is the room set up to provide care effectively and efficiently?
    • Can the team find the supplies they need? Are they convenient?
    • What will the process look like when the patient is ready for discharge?

    The following day, teams completed a simulated run of transporting one of the sickest patients from the current PICU in Main Hospital to the Children’s Tower using the sky bridge and patient transport elevators – the same path they’ll follow on move day.

    Opportunities for collaboration and learning

    “The energy and excitement from our teams was palpable. They uncovered a lot of important changes from plugs that don’t work, to workflow considerations that we will work through,” said Dr. Matt Schefft, pediatric hospital medicine specialist and physician liaison for the Children’s Tower. “We logged the issues to be addressed and were even able to resolve some of them same-day.”

    While identifying opportunities for improvement was a key part of the activities, the day also helped generate excitement about the Children’s Tower and what it will mean for patients and families. Team members’ reactions included:

    • We have the best views of any emergency department in the country.
    • Everything is so kid friendly.
    • Patient transport is fast and easy.
    • The patient rooms are huge.
    • Spaces are great for collaboration.

    Opportunities noted throughout the day will be attended to over the next few weeks in preparation for the second day-in-the-life activity in early March.

    Discover more about the Children’s Tower and stay tuned for plenty of updates as we count down to opening!

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