Six Months to Plan and Relocate a Multidisciplinary Lab – Mission Accomplished

Delivering a typical 18-month process in a third of the time, while maintaining 100% testing uptime

The Challenge

HNL Lab Medicine, Health Network Laboratories at the time of the move, is a full-service medical laboratory. It provides testing services to doctors, hospitals, care facilities, and corporate clients, generating 60 million test results a year. The advent of a new Main Laboratory required a rapid relocation and transition plan.

Why Move?

HNL Lab’s existing facilities were outdated, and a new, larger facility would help the company bring back-office operations into the same 100,000 sq ft building as its clinical departments, as well as install a fully automated processing line. VOC Associates was approached by the architects, Perspectus Architecture, to plan and manage the relocation of the Chemistry, Coagulation, Cytogenetics, Flow Cytometry, Hematology, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular, and Toxicology departments, plus Finance, eEducation, HR, and Administration.

Key Services Rendered:

  • Activation Planning
  • Transition Planning

Our Approach

What would ordinarily be an 18-month process – and sometimes longer – had to be turned around in just six months. Speed was clearly of the essence, which meant not just being agile and highly efficient, but ensuring that the clinical managers and staff were strategically integrated into our assessment and planning stages, to prevent overwhelming them.

We involved the lab administration and managers, the facilities team, the building contractors, furniture installers, and move vendors in carefully structured consultation. First up was the initial site assessment of the facility, equipment and personnel; we needed to identify and prioritize the key considerations. We developed the schedule in record time and held the kickoff meeting soon after.

Meanwhile, we needed to plan a transition that would eliminate any downtime of HNL Lab’s testing facilities; this lab serves hundreds of independent clinics in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the local health system.

Managing the Change

The way existing furniture would be reused prompted significant changes to the relocation plan. It emerged that components, including wall panels, brackets and surfaces, would be split between multiple offices in the new building. A completely new sequencing for the various offices moves was required. We were also required to shift the first move by two weeks, to allow for construction to complete.

The risks and potential costs involved in failure to meet the tight deadline, and the possible detrimental health impact of suffering lab downtime, were significant, to say the least. Due to the close working relationships built between the VOC team and the client team, we managed to put together a seamless transition. All nine major departments and the personnel who worked in them were successfully moved within a window of 30 days. There was no downtime and no operational impact.

The Results

Assessed, planned and executed in just 6 months

9 clinical departments moved in just 30 days

900+ items of laboratory equipment moved

Zero operational impact