New construction and major renovations hold the promise of increased efficiency, improved patient flow and care, better-integrated services, and more effective use of technology. Realizing that promise, though, demands an intense, time-sensitive effort to coordinate numerous concurrent work streams in advance of the first patient’s arrival. One misstep can result in months of delays, and one missed detail can mean that initial post-opening hiccups require long-term workarounds.

As long-frozen capital becomes available, health care leaders are again turning to infrastructure projects that had been on hold since before the dramatic shift now occurring in the reimbursement environment. Preceded by facility master planning, programming and design activities, the activation planning process is a high-resource, transformative process focused on transitioning a hospital or other medical facility from a construction site to a functional healing environment.


To avoid unexpected delays, unforeseen errors and unanticipated inefficiencies, health care executives must look at activation planning as a whole and in parallel with construction planning and execution—and all through the lens of the new value-based paradigm.

Working in multiple countries across the globe, Kurt Salmon provides project management and oversight to prepare the new facility for staff, and to prepare staff for the new facility, with a specific eye toward budgeting, communications, and required cultural and operational changes. We also support providers in evaluating activation planning and transition costs, which can total 3% to 5% of a project’s total cost and aren’t always allocated for in capital budgets.


Kurt Salmon supports activation projects from building and department preparation to the transition and occupancy. Whether the project is a new wing, a renovated clinic or a greenfield hospital, five concurrent and integrated work streams can generally be associated with every health care activation project.

Operational Readiness. We work with executives to develop departmental workgroups, create operating manuals and foster interdepartmental coordination to establish a collective understanding of future operations—within and across departments—to foster a seamless patient experience.

People Readiness. We advise on staffing plans, recruitment schedules and training programs to ensure staff are confident and comfortable.

Facility Readiness. To ensure a timely transition, Kurt Salmon assists with managing the facility and operational ramp-up requirements. We also ensure a coordinated and efficient process by leveraging integrated schedules, facility activation/coordination workgroups and activity forecasts.

Technology Readiness. We align operational expectations with new technology by aiding with system implementation, application management and integration to optimize the use of available resources.

Opening Readiness. Kurt Salmon helps clients plan for all aspects of safe and effective patient care by developing departmental activation plans, relocation strategies, opening scenarios, comprehensive patient care ramp-up plans, external communication strategies and opening event tactics.

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A Midwest hospital that had been in the same place for over a century needed to move 700,000 square feet of facilities to a new location.

Kurt Salmon assisted with project management and oversight, diagnostic assessments, transition budgeting, operations planning, building load coordination, FF&E procurement, staff training, and building decommissioning.

Kurt Salmon helped define 470 operating service standards, create 75 department-level operating manuals, develop 390 operating workflows, and build the transition strategy and move sequences for 200 inpatients.