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July 27, 2021

What to Know About Moving a Medical Facility in Atlanta

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a lasting imprint on medical facilities across the globe.

While some medical facilities emerged from the pandemic largely unscathed, others must reduce the size of their staff or facilities to mitigate the virus’s financial repercussions. In a 2020 MGMA survey of more than 1,000 healthcare leaders, 12 percent said their practices planned to downsize within six months.

But even in a normal year, medical facilities continue to shift across the country. Whether they are expanding, adapting to population changes, consolidating clinics or reacting to expired leases, thousands of healthcare construction projects occur every year.

Georgia has a robust healthcare infrastructure and therefore frequently experiences medical moves. The state has around 200 hospitals, and metro Atlanta has more than 50 medical facilities, according to US News. Some of those medical facilities are likely preparing for a transition and if yours is one of them, there are some things you’ll want to know about moving a medical facility in Atlanta.

When to start planning

Healthcare facility relocation has a lot of moving parts, particularly in a large metropolitan area like Atlanta. You’re not just moving furniture and equipment. You’re also moving records, patients and employees. The healthcare industry is the largest employer in Atlanta, so moving your staff’s equipment and belongings may be more difficult than an average business relocation.

Save yourself some trouble by beginning the planning process at least six months in advance. Before moving day approaches, you will need to coordinate with your patients and employees, and double-check that your new location follows Georgia’s guidelines for healthcare facilities. For example, if you are making substantial changes to your practice, such as expanding your facility and provided services, you may need to submit a letter of intent and a Certificate of Need application to the Georgia Department of Community Health. You’ll also need to notify payers, licensing authorities and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency about your new address.

 Common pitfalls to avoid

No move is without obstacles. Pay attention to these four areas in your planning process to prevent unnecessary difficulties with your relocation.

  1. Inadequate communication: Inform your stakeholders about every step of the moving process. Start by appointing an internal manager to be the point person for your relocation. Create a communication strategy for how you will notify everyone connected to your facility about the move. Be clear about what their roles are in this process and what they can expect in the coming months.
  2. Inventory issues: Work with your relocation partner to inventory all your equipment and furniture as soon as possible. Which items will come with you, and which require disposal? If you’re downsizing, all of your current inventory may not fit in your new space. Talk to your moving coordinator about how you can store, liquidate, donate or recycle unwanted items.
  3. Poor patient planning: Keep the relocation from being disruptive to your patients by creating a detailed plan to ensure continuity of care. How can you reduce risk and downtime in the relocation process? Talk to your patients about their needs during the relocation and how you will support them.
  4. Problems in transit: Atlanta’s traffic is among the worst in the world, according to INRIX’s scorecard. Build some extra time into your day-of itinerary for the commute, and communicate with your relocation partner about your inventory’s ideal arrival time to its new location. Avoid the pains of metropolitan parking by making sure the moving vans will have a convenient place to pull up next to the building.

 How a moving partner can help

Your moving partner should have experience handling the delicate details of a medical relocation. The right partner can make this transition seamless for your staff and patients by reducing downtime, risk and liability. Look for a relocation company with the expertise and capabilities to safely disassemble expensive equipment, accept deliveries of any new items, pack and transport your items with care, provide storage as needed and reinstall all equipment in the new locations. If your inventory requires temperature control, your moving partner can also take care of those specialty transportation needs.

The relocation provider you select should also have sensitivity to the needs of your medical community. Moving patients and medical professionals requires a special touch, so do your research into the track record of each company with these relocations. Your partner should work closely with you and cause as few disruptions as possible, including minimizing noise often associated with moving furniture.

 Why Armstrong Atlanta

Armstrong Atlanta is trained to carry out these tricky moves. That’s why medical facilities trust our experts every year to handle their priceless equipment and files. Our extreme attention to detail and care will help you ensure that the quality of your patient care does not falter during this transition. If you need assistance with disassembly, delivery, decommissioning, storage, packing, transportation or reinstallation, Armstrong Atlanta can handle it all. Call Armstrong Atlanta today at 770-368-0368 to get started.

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