An Innovative Strategy in Organizational Transformation: Creating and Implementing a Transition Support Office Within a University Health Centre

Led by Mélanie Lavoie-Tremblay, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University (left) and Marie Claire Richer, Director Transition Support Office (right)

With Monique Aubry, Alain Biron, Michel Vézina, Madelaine Boulay-Bolduc, Patricia Lefebvre, Micheline St-Marie, Guylaine Cyr, Jean-Louis Denis


  • The need for information to guide the implementation of change in the healthcare system was revealed by healthcare decision-makers several years ago and still exists.
  • Due to the complexity of this sector and the growing numbers of large-scale projects, project management is currently booming.
  • In 2008, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) set up the Transition Support Office (TSO) as part of its redevelopment project which involves consolidating the care and services currently provided at six (6) hospital sites in just three (3) sites.
  • The TSO consists of a director and over 30 experts in project management, evaluation, change management, process optimization, communication and knowledge management (knowledge brokers) and doctoral students.
  • The TSO has supported over 35 major projects and has developed an innovative guidance program around three fields of action: the harmonization of clinical practices, team consolidation and process optimization.
  • The key results of the program emphasize the importance of optimizing the assignment of resources to an office such as the TSO to support the teams in implementing their projects in a major redeployment situation.
  • The TSO provides assistance in overcoming familiar obstacles associated with the  implementation of evidence-based practices, such as the shortage of resources, lack of time and staff motivation.
  • The personnel assigned to the TSO are recognized by the MUHC for their competencies, expertise and credibility. Moreover, the TSO has acquired functions that are essential for supporting the teams, moving projects forward and ensuring the success of the redeployment project. Those functions are project tracking and performance, project and change  management, and knowledge management.
  • To demonstrate the value added of the TSO, it was necessary to re-think the way the organization manages its project portfolios in order to obtain valid and reliable data about project performance.
  • In partnership with the Quality and Performance Department, the TSO has developed a theoretical performance evaluation framework with which to assess each project.
  • Thanks to the support they provide, the TSO experts make it possible to improve practices and patient care, which are safer and of better quality.
  • A project management office can be effectively deployed to develop strategies designed to ensure better implementation as part of a major redevelopment project. Setting up a project management office within healthcare organizations is achievable and produces changes in team operations and in the delivery of care to patients.