Archive for November, 2010

Adventures in Imaging

November 10th, 2010

Ready for my close-up!

In the past year, Milestone Project Management has been responsible for several imaging projects, including the replacement of a nuclear medicine gamma camera, the replacement of two traditional MRIs, and the installation of a new high-field open MRI. A new 3T magnet was installed for one of the replacement MRI projects, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to volunteer for a scan last week.

Prior to having a scan, most of my experience with MRIs had been (1) removing them from buildings and (2) installing them. I didn’t have an experience to compare this to – other than the descriptions I’d heard from other people and the videos I watched on YouTube. I heard about feelings of claustrophobia, and the noise that the machine makes likened to a jackhammer.

What was it like? Well, everything started out just fine – after changing into a gown I sat down for a few minutes with a warm blanket while the scan room was prepped. Once in the room, the technician gave me a pair of earplugs and also a headset for listening to music. And then I was “inserted” into the bore of the MRI – head first. This is where I got a little uncomfortable. All I could see was the white interior of the machine; there was nothing to focus on. I had the technician move me out of the machine and I asked him for something to put over my eyes – to keep me from looking around. He moved me back in and explained that I was far enough towards the rear of the machine that I could actually see out – I just needed to tilt my head a little. That made me feel loads better, and we started the scan.

So I listened to some tunes from the 80’s and heard some intermittent beeps and buzzes. I was trying my best to relax when the noise from the scanning started. Frankly, it sounded like the warning noises you hear before something (like a spaceship in the movies) blows-up. VERY disconcerting. But I just lay there imagining what the pictures would look like, and I tried to think about other things, including my holiday shopping list, while the series of beeping and knocking sounds progressed.

After about 20 minutes, I heard the technician say that the scan would only take a few more minutes and then he would come in and get me out. At this point, I started to relax – until the jack hammering started!

I was very happy to exit the machine a few minutes later, and excited to review my scan with one of the MRI physicists that I had been working with. I am thankful to have had this opportunity – so if I need to have a scan done in the future, I will know what to expect.

Internet Project Management: Fall 2010 – Update

November 1st, 2010

Update to previous post:

Dear Gentle Reader (tip o’ the hat to Dear Abby),

Over the past two weeks, we at Milestone Project Management have continued to review “web based/cloud based” sites that offer project collaboration tools for the various stakeholders for our complex healthcare projects.

The evaluation process was rather informal,but extensive.  We talked to the site developers, viewing online demonstrations/webinars, in some cases, downloading demo’s or trial memberships to “test drive” the capabilities of the systems.

We have decided to move forward for the next six months with TeamWorkPM.   While not as typically robust as other project management sites, we felt that TeamWorkPM had the right balance of detailed and overview information that made it very flexible and easy to use (see October 17th blog about tracking necessary and not-so-necessary information to an Owner) .  Being intuitive to use which was a “must” for us as our stakeholders on a project have a wide disparity of computer skills and/or time to spend trying to find information quickly.

Additionally, one of our clients is moving forward with using the site to not only track their Capital Projects, but also to monitor their leasehold contract terms and minor tenant improvements.  This is one example of the flexibility of this system.

Over the next six months we plan to move forward with over 12 projects on this site.   The project types will range from conceptual – long term projects, to short duration “patch and paint” or equipment switchouts.  We will even use TeamworkPM to assist in the collaboration of some minor electrical projects.

Currently, our “test drive” of the system allowed us to collaborate with our architects and user groups to disseminate project sketches, equipment lists, action items/issue tracking, milestone dates and decision documentation.  I was quite surprised how the team embraced the system and how easily the designers able to uploading sketchs and solutions to the site.  With the release of Teamwork’s free (yes, free) iPhone app, I expect our team members to be able to communicate and to pull up specific project status from the palm of their hand.  If you think about it, what a powerful concept for an Owner to be able to do….sitting at a board meeting, the discussion unexpectedly turns on the specific architecture of an inpatient room , you did not prepare for this conversation – but, you can quickly pull up the drawing and support documentation right on your iPhone or better yet, your iPad – powerful stuff.

As we move forward into 2011, watch this blog for my candid experiences using “cloud” project management (I should coin and trademark this term – a tip o’ the hat to Gene Simmons).  I also welcome comments from you, dear reader – let me know your thoughts.

The journey continues….

Scott