By Curtis Bagnall, Solution Engineer, and Roxanne Rabich, Service Coordinator at Umbrella Managed Systems
Pediatric Professional Association, has been an Umbrella client since September 2014. Janet Schaaf, RN, BSN, is the Practice Administrator.
A couple of years ago, Curtis Bagnall was sent to PPA, for a technical situation. As he approached the building, he began to have a sense of Déjà vu. It turns out this was the pediatrician he went to as a child! He reminisced while we toured their office conducting this interview.
Recently, Janet notified us they were planning an office remodel. We were more than happy to offer any assistance we could to make it a smooth process. Moving or remodeling are two of the most difficult projects to manage while staying open for business. I encouraged Janet to keep us informed along the way so we could be prepared to be onsite if/when needed.
The following is an interview we had with Janet about the project
What was the reasoning behind the remodel?
Our building had changed ownership and a new tenant was moving into offices on our floor. We negotiated with the property management to relinquish some of our underutilized space in exchange to update and remodel.
What are some of the positive changes to remodeling?
Previously, the physicians shared personal office space. With the remodel, each physician will enjoy their own personal office along with a standing desk near their 3 exam rooms. Each physician was able to decorate their office and exam rooms, including wall color and artwork, while keeping with the theme of The Wizard of Oz for the office. There are stations in the hallway for each physician and each nurse to chart outside of the exam rooms.
The physicians wanted to preserve our recognized Wizard of Oz theme for the office. It’s been fun to update the decor with new murals, new colors, and new workflow. The front desk is designed to look like Dorothy’s house that fell on the Wicked Witch and the hallways are the poppy fields and forest that the characters from the movie walked through.
How was Umbrella able to assist during the process?
Umbrella was vital in helping me to understand our system and then redesign our data use and storage. I just trusted Ben Hopkins to do what needed to happen. Ben was very helpful when it came to negotiations with our property management and other 3rd party vendors for cabling and phone updates that needed to be done. He understood what was needed and spoke the “tech lingo” with the vendors to get work aligned. Ben reconfigured our network racks allowing consolidation of server equipment.
Umbrella makes us feel like we are their only client. Umbrella’s response and flexibility is unbelievable. One day I called at 4:45pm because an alarm was going off on our phones and they weren’t working. I wasn’t expecting anything to be resolved that day since it was so close to the end of business. After I explained what was happening to Ben, he said he would swing by on his way home. He resolved the issue and we were up and running, ready for the next morning.
During the remodel, we had to create and move into temporary locations while construction was taking place. Kyle Nelson was crucial during this process. There was never an instance where he couldn’t figure out how to get a temporary workplace set up for us. I once called Roxanne letting her know that we needed to move and set up another temp location for the front desk, not expecting Umbrella to schedule somebody out for at least a week, and two days later Kyle was here and had us all set up.
Knowing Umbrella and the amazing work they perform, I insisted with property management, from the beginning, that it was a must to involve Umbrella, our IT team, during the entire process.
What would you tell somebody that was just starting a remodel of their office?
Get your IT team involved as early as you can. Umbrella kept us up and running during the remodel and made each transition flawless. We’ve been under construction since the beginning of September and have had to set up temp offices/work spaces. Be prepared to live out of boxes for a while. You need to be flexible and make compromises in the middle of the build. Things will inevitably come up that weren’t planned, such as an entire room getting painted orange, and realizing it should be just one wall. (That was a lot of orange!)
Everybody is going to ask you questions. During the move things will be out of place. Wire will be hanging from the ceiling, people will be crammed into rooms, pieces of the puzzle will be scattered everywhere. You will get questions such as “Those wires aren’t going to be there when this is finished, right?”
What would you do differently if you had to start the remodel all over again?
Architecture and construction crews were chosen for us in this remodel. If I could start from the beginning I would get bids from multiple vendors and decide who to work with. If appropriate for your practice, it would be easier to temporarily relocate during a remodel or move altogether. Working while the office is under remodel is stressful.
Thank you to Janet and our friends at the Pediatric Professional Association for being such a great client!