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With opening a week away, new Children's Hospital gets final cleaning

Staff at Women & Children's Hospital have been preparing for months for the massive move from Bryant Street to the John R. Oishei Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

They've done mock moves and transported furniture. They've planned routes and prepared for extra staff on moving day. They've even readjusted the heights of the hand sanitizers.

Now comes the top-to-bottom cleaning.

In the health care field, it's known as terminal cleaning, and it's in full swing within the 12-story hospital at 818 Ellicott St. running until the day before its planned Nov. 10 opening.

"That process will continue to happen over and over again, until we move patients in," said Jessica Mabie, the hospital's director of strategic planning and implementation. "It's a super fluid process where they go section-by-section."

Take a look inside Buffalo's new Children's Hospital

Three shifts of workers, operating 24 hours a day, are tackling the job.

"It's a huge effort," she said. "The focus for terminal cleaning is in clinical areas to make sure they have a clean environment."

The process is not new. It's something done daily inside a hospital, as all patient areas turn over to new patients.

It involves "a significant effort with our environmental services staff, which goes room by room, signing off along the way," Mabie said. "Then after that process, a team of infection preventionists, who are nurses, come through and sign off on that room as being ready to receive a patient."

The $270 million hospital, constructed over the last three years, will replace the 125-year-old Children's Hospital on Bryant Street.

Themed floors at Oishei Children's Hospital reflect overall Buffalo connections

Cleaning the new hospital began early last week. The sweep through the 185-bed facility will continue while staff wrap up final training and orientation in some areas. Once an area is "terminally cleaned," a sign is posted on the door instructing no entry without environmental services staff.

As staff juggles between the Women & Children's Hospital on Bryant Street and readying Oishei on the Medical Campus, some administrative staff have begun reporting to the new hospital and splitting their time between both facilities, Mabie said.

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