Project Management in Practice: Twelve Hospital Handoff Projects

When construction on the new Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, was 7 months from completion, it was time to start the transition from project to smooth operations. Previously, to help set up the patient processes, subject matter experts from other Norton facilities were brought in for consultation, particularly in regard to how patients would want the processes to work. As one example, rather than the usual waiting-line patient registration system, patients register themselves at kiosks.

Since 700 new hires for the hospital had to learn how to operate 51 information systems on 13 technologies, 12 projects were set up to train them. To help with the training, the operations people were brought in early to facilitate a smooth transition and hear any concerns or needs from the new hires. In a hospital, project failure and closure are not an option since lives are constantly at stake. As it happened, the projects finished on schedule and the hospital opened by its due date and almost $3 million under budget.


  1. How much attention do you think is usually given to the handoff from a project team to an ongoing staff?
  2. Would you classify this as a closure by addition, by integration, or by extinction? Why?

Source: K. Hunsberger, “The Best of the Best.” PM Network, Vol. 24.

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