Walk into the new Silver Cross Hospital being constructed in New Lenox, and you'll probably hear some "wows." The $325 million project is about 95 percent completed, and it looks more like a nice hotel than a stuffy institution.
Media members toured the hospital Thursday to see the new location, at Route 6 and Interstate 355, which will open Feb. 26, 2012.
Efficient, Comfortable Design: In constructing the new hospital, administrators wanted to make sure everything was as efficient and convenient as possible for patients, staff and visitors.
Nurses and other hospital staff helped develop ideas for the shape of the building, the size of rooms and more, even counting out footsteps to cut back on time between patients. There were also some mock rooms in the current hospital in Joliet that were being used to gather feedback from staff and patients. That led to various changes, such as lighting, placement of towel dispensers and the height of the shower head.
Patient rooms, almost all of which are private, and the intention is to give them more of a hotel appearance than an institutional one. They include flat-screen TVs, couches that pull out into beds and large windows to let in more light.
Many new technologies are also updated in this hospital, such as direct patient-to-nurse paging, instead of going through a central clerk.
Half of in-patients come from the emergency department, and in the existing layout some units are a “football field apart," said Mary Bakken, chief operating officer at Silver Cross. With this design, there is an elevator straight from the emergency department to in-patient care. There is also a trauma elevator so an entire team can fit inside with a patient. The intensive and procedural care units are on the same floor in the new hospital because they share a lot of the same resources.
Comfort for Visitors, Employees: Hospital staff will need breaks, and family members visiting will, too.
The hospital also has a coffee shop, gift shop and chapel on the first level, and there's a large dining area that opens to a serenity garden, half of which will be for staff on breaks and the other portion for visitors. Besides comfort, convenience is vital to the new hospital.
The coffee shop will carry deli sandwiches and salads, as well as Starbucks coffee and pastry products, and it will be open until 2 a.m. to accommodate late-night shifts and visitors.
Finally, a Walgreens is planned to fill in space on the first floor of Pavilions A and B, medical office buildings, that will allow patients to pick up a prescription immediately.
By the Numbers: The hospital will have 289 beds, compared to about 243 in the current Joliet location. Other numbers to note:
- 38 private treatment rooms in the emergency department, including four trauma units.
- 65 pre/post-operation rooms, compared to about 24 in the current location.
- 305-square-foot patient rooms.
- 11 surgical suites and four interventional suites in the procedural care unit.
- 6 floors, with the ability to add on two more in the future.
- 20,000 patients per year is an estimate that hospital staff believe they'll see in a couple years. Right now, the hospital gets about 16,000 patients each year.
More Information: For more photos, news and information about the replacement hospital campus, go to Silver Cross Hospital's website.
In March, Patch took another tour through the replacement hospital. To learn more about the history of the replacement hospital and the business expected to develop around it, .