The completion of the new hospital Tower marks a milestone in the Rush Transformation, a 10-year project that includes building new facilities, renovating older buildings and installing advanced information systems.
As a cornerstone of the project, the new Tower's design and the planning behind that design make it one of the nation's most advanced health care facilities. Attention to details large and small resulted in an innovative blueprint that focused on patient health and also protected the health of the environment, which puts Rush on track for gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The space was designed to enable the highest quality of care, patient safety, and patient and family comfort.
To learn more about patient rooms, clinical work stations, space for families, safety, innovation, air quality and accessibility in the Tower, read the following fast facts or visit transforming.rush.edu.
Each single-bed patient room includes a special family zone with a recliner and sleeper sofa, as well as dedicated electrical outlets for visitors to charge cellphones, laptops and other personal devices.
Two layers of shades hang on the windows in each patient room, making it possible either to diffuse the sun or to darken the room completely. This provides a soothing environment for patients.
Because natural light and pleasant views reduce anxiety levels and the need for pain medication, all patient rooms feature large windows with views of the city.
Clinical work stations
To help design clinical work stations within the new hospital, Rush incorporated findings from a study that used a pedometer to track nurses' movements at different hospitals. Accordingly, the new stations were designed so that nurses are closer to their patients, enabling them to respond more quickly to patients' needs.
To test the organization of the space during planning, clinicians walked through life-sized outlines painted onto the surface of the former tennis courts where the Tower now stands.
Designed to function as a neighborhood, each wing of the butterfly shape includes patient rooms and clinician workstations, and with a family lounge on each floor, staff are closer to both patients and families.
Space for families
There is family space in all parts of the Tower — close to procedural areas and in patient rooms — so loved ones remain close to patients at all times.
Using private naming codes, electronic status boards in the family waiting rooms update family members on the status of their loved one throughout a procedure.
Three separate color palettes in the Tower help differentiate areas and facilitate transitions from one space to another, including public space, staff space and conference rooms.
Safety from ceiling to floor
Textiles, paints and other construction materials meet strict chemical-emissions limits to help prevent irritation for people with allergies and chemical sensitivities.
Carpeting in the Tower has a low yarn height to prevent tripping, has colors and patterns that help direct people through the space, and is made from environmentally friendly recycled materials.
Builders raised drywall off the floor slabs by one-half inch and in some areas wrapped the vinyl flooring up to meet it — all in the interest of eliminating seams and cracks where mildew can grow if liquid spills on the floor.
The interventional platform — three floors that integrate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures — features check-in space, private prep rooms, operating rooms and private recovery rooms in the same area for greater patient convenience and safety and enhanced clinician teamwork.
Lighting fixtures in patient corridors are tucked into alcoves near the tops of the walls to prevent lights from glaring directly into the eyes of patients moving down the hallways on gurneys.
A filtered ventilation grid that removes potential airborne contaminants in each surgical suite occupies the spot in the ceiling right above where the patient lies. This helps prevent infection. The same level of high-quality air is also circulated throughout the hospital.
Specially pressurized rooms protect patients at increased risk of infection, such as those fighting cancer, by using positive pressure that prevents the flow of air from the hospital into the room. Negative-pressure rooms that prohibit the flow of air from the room into the hospital are used for patients with contagious diseases.
Accessibility for all
All sinks and toilets are situated at Americans With Disabilities Act-approved heights — not just for patients but for caregivers with disabilities as well.
During planning, employees with disabilities used mocked-up patient rooms to test their accessibility. Changes — such as modifying bathroom doors to swing both ways — were made based on their recommendations.
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