At 6 a.m. Saturday, the doors to Guthrie's $146 million new Corning Hospital will open for the first time.

At 6 a.m. Saturday, the doors to Guthrie’s $146 million new Corning Hospital will open for the first time.

After 6 a.m., anyone who’s about to give birth or otherwise needs medical attention should go to the new facility just off Interstate 86, Exit 48 in East Corning, and not to the old hospital on Denison Parkway in downtown Corning.

And once the doors open, staff will begin transporting all the in-patients from the old facility to the new.

“We’re planning for anywhere from 30 to 40 patients, and we’ll start early Saturday morning,” said Deb Raupers, chief nursing officer at Corning Hospital.

The staff has been planning for moving day for months, even years.
Even though the old and new hospitals are only about four miles apart, the move requires meticulous planning, because some of the patients will be critically ill and hooked up to machines such as respirators.

So the staff worked with a private consultant, CBRE Health Care, as well as the state Department of Health and state Office of Emergency Management.

They did a series of drills, walking through various scenarios. In late June, they did a mock move with mock patients.

Guthrie went through a very similar process last summer.

“Guthrie actually moved an entire hospital last year,” said Carolyn Handrick, public relations manager for Guthrie, referring to the organization’s $30 million new Troy Community Hospital in Troy, Pa. “And some Corning staff were on site that day to observe how the move happened.”

On Saturday, the patients will be moved onto stretchers and then taken to waiting Rural/Metro ambulances. Rural/Metro brought down extra ambulances from Rochester, so there will be eight rigs available.

The critical care patients will be moved first. Corning Hospital’s critical care nurse will accompany each of the patients as they are transported, Raupers said.

“The patient basically is transferring, in our minds, from one unit to another unit, because we’re going to send our critical care nurse with that patient,” Raupers said. “So she’s maintaining the care of that patient the whole time throughout the transfer.

“She’ll be right by the stretcher, and we’ll have all of our equipment moved with the patient, with the nurse fully responsible. And then the (Rural/Metro) transport team will be there to assist us.”

The moving process is expected to be finished around 1 p.m. Saturday.

The patients seem excited about their new digs, primarily because they’ll be moving into private rooms and won’t have to share a room anymore, Raupers said.

Some patients who had surgery scheduled wound up postponing it so they could have the procedure in the new operating suites at the new facility.

Many came to the open house at the new Corning Hospital last Sunday so they could see where they’d be going for their procedures, Handrick said.