Delivering a Strategic and Smooth Transition for Ambulatory Services
Creating a Large and Successful Ambulatory Care Transition with Compass One Healthcare
One of the nation’s leading healthcare providers selected Compass One Healthcare (Crothall Healthcare) in late 2021 to provide Ambulatory Environmental Services (Ambulatory) for a large health system that includes 47 medical office building sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. These sites serve thousands of patients annually and have approximately 450 union and non-union employees.
The Compass Group Strategic Projects team built and executed a strategic plan to ensure a smooth transition of services and existing staff from the previous provider. The team was one of several key reasons Compass One was selected to provide Ambulatory Services. Its mission was to build a plan and guide its execution so all facilities opened on time under Compass One’s management with minimal risks associated. This unique team and strategy differentiate Compass One from its competitors. The Strategic Projects team’s ability to use Compass One’s size, experience, and resources helps reinforce the role Compass One plays in protecting their brand. Strategic Projects supports 10-12 transitions annually, ranging from 100-120 sites in the Compass Group healthcare business. And Compass One’s ability to provide hospital-grade cleaning services to ambulatory sites creates safer experiences for patients and team members.
“A new provider’s ability to guide us through a successful transition is at the center of decision when we make a significant change in our operations. Because of Compass Group’s Strategic Projects team, the teams at this large health system and Crothall could focus all of their time and energy on the operational side of the transition. Both organizations benefited from the Strategic Project group’s ability to organize, communicate, and hold everyone accountable, enabling each facility to open smoothly and on time.”
- Director of Facilities Services at One of the Nation’s Leading Healthcare Providers
With three “Go Live” dates running from January 31 to April 1, 2022, for the 47 ambulatory care locations, the Strategic Projects team began working diligently with all the integral teams in late December 2021, including Sales, Operations, and all the functional area subject matter experts. It was decided to implement the transition in three phases: the first was the January 31 opening of a new facility in Maryland; second phase included approximately 27 buildings, and the third phase included the final 19 buildings, which were staffed by union employees.
To complete the transition within seven weeks, the Strategic Projects team implemented the following solutions:
1) A Transition Plan with Key Milestones
The heart of the strategic project plan was a detailed list of transition activities and tasks, including key milestones, tailored specifically for this transition. This project plan tracked hundreds of critical tasks, across all functional areas, with their corresponding due dates per phase, to ensure the transition was completed on time.
Examples of Key Milestones include:
- Town Hall meetings with transitioning team members announcing partnership and initial introductions (at onset of announcement of partnership).
- Onboarding of hourly team members 6-7 weeks prior to go live.
- Working with an outside contractor to train and onboard all unionized team members.
- Procuring medical supplies and equipment for each location.
- Identifying issues which could delay the transition, such as media coverage of state-mandated WARN notices announcing layoffs to transitioning team members.
2) Continuous Communications and Tracking of Progress via Online Dashboard
A comprehensive Communication Plan was developed, which was initiated by establishing a Steering Committee consisting of senior leaders from the healthcare system and Compass One. This group met twice weekly to discuss the status of key projects, solutions for key issues, and the status of Key Performance Indicators.
Strategic Projects developed an online dashboard enabling every leader to chart the progress and completion of each Key Milestone. The dashboard was accessible by all leaders 24/7, allowing them to communicate any issues immediately while providing accountability to every person on the Transition Team.
The twice weekly meetings helped accomplish the following goals:
- Quickly build a strong working relationship between the two teams. The healthcare system's leadership team’s quick engagement in the process motivated everyone to accomplish their goals.
- Identify and deliver solutions on key labor issues, including staff shortages, onboarding status, recruiting efforts, and fill rates.
- Establish daily calls as needed to resolve any immediate challenges.
- Discuss key issues each day and identify quick solutions. For example, any equipment removed by the previous provider needed to be replaced.
A newsletter was produced every two weeks to inform all employees of key developments. Separate newsletters were written and distributed to union versus non-union employees.
“As the Transition Team’s single point of contact, our strategic plan and our ability to track the progress at each building was the linchpin in this transition. It enabled the teams to focus on operations, working together to solve any issues. Laura Nieh, the lead project manager, focused each day on identifying and solving important issues at each of the 47 facilities. Our ability to provide this oversight and direction helps differentiate Compass One from its competitors.”
-Tara Snow Project Director, Strategic Projects for Compass Group
3) Solutions for Union Employees
To help union employees make the transition, Compass One hired Professional Maintenance Management, Inc., (PMM) as a subcontractor to handle all hiring, onboarding, and other human resources issues. PMM hired and trained approximately 275 employees at 19 locations, and they are on PMM’s payroll. PMM was selected for a variety of reasons. Based in Rockville, Maryland, it is a well-known provider of janitorial and facilities management services in the mid-Atlantic region. As a service contractor for SEIU Local 32BJ, it has a strong working relationship with union leaders. In addition, Compass One worked with PMM previously. While Compass One’s operations team hired PMM, coordinating all activities at these 19 facilities provided an additional responsibility for the Strategic Projects group. Working with PMM, these 19 facilities opened smoothly and on time.
4) Ability to Handle Unique Situations
A specific plan was developed for one new Urgent Care facility in Maryland scheduled to open on January 30. With only three weeks to plan this event, Compass One hired 34 new associates and executed a “soft” opening with limited services on January 31. Compass One ensured a smooth opening by placing a “Start-Up Captain” on site to engage and support the facility’s leaders. While it normally takes 60-90 days to prepare to open a new facility, the ability of Compass One to bring its training programs, supplies, and equipment enabled the facility to open on time.
Accountability: An online dashboard tracked the progress of important issues at all 47 facilities. In real time, it provided data on key metrics, including the number of people hired, the number of vacancies, and the need for medical supplies. This dashboard provided transparency to everyone on the transition team and created an urgency to complete any task on time.
Ability to Manage a Variety of Complex Issues: In addition to developing and executing a three-phased plan, the Strategic Projects team worked daily to track multiple issues during the transition process. Its ability to oversee all labor and human resources issues, provide communications, and identify and solve a variety of tasks to be completed on time provides value and helped ensure delivery of all services on time.
On-Time Delivery: The group’s three-phase plan enabled each of the 47 facilities to open on time with fully trained staffs and all proper medical supplies. This included the opening of the Maryland facility, which opened five weeks after Compass One received a signed letter of intent.
Communications Structure: The Strategic Projects team’s “Milestones” calendar kept everyone informed of key issues and completed projects. To solve any challenges, the team often identified the right resources needed to provide a solution. Regular communications helped build team and create a sense of urgency -- Compass One held one weekly internal meeting to review the project's status and two meetings each week with the combined Compass One-Healthcare System management teams.
“Compass One’s Strategic Projects group brings a sophisticated level of project management expertise to any transition involving our company. This group acts as our quarterback – they see the entire field and bring every key issue to our attention in a timely manner. Their expertise allows Compass One and its other divisions to focus on operations 24/7 during the transition process, enabling us to make certain we are meeting our client’s needs. That’s a service that sets us apart from the competition.”
-Sean Shapert Regional Vice President, Ambulatory Services, Compass One Healthcare
Maintain a safe environment for patients in your ambulatory care facility with hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of standardizing your outsourced ambulatory environmental services to one provider with Crothall Healthcare.