CHICAGO, Ill. — After more than seven years of planning and three years of construction, Rush University Medical Center successfully moved approximately 200 patients into the Tower, Rush’s new, 14-story, state-of-the-art hospital building, located at Ashland Avenue and the Eisenhower Expressway.
The patients settled into their new rooms in the Tower after moving from their rooms in Rush’s existing hospital, the Atrium Building, on Sunday, Jan. 8. On Monday morning at about 8:30 a.m., the first surgeries began in the new hospital. Approximately 60 operations were planned for the surgical suites, with another 20 operations scheduled in Rush’s current, Atrium building.
The transition was carefully planned to ensure patient safety and comfort. The patients were moved by transporters, and some were escorted by teams that included doctors and nurses as patient conditions required. They were taken to the new hospital via one of the glass enclosed walkways that connect the Tower and the Atrium Building and were not outside at any time during the move. As an additional safety measure, three nurse practitioners were stationed on walkway to assess each patient during the course of the move and respond to any patient’s medical needs. In addition to working staff, hundreds of Rush employees, faculty and students volunteered their time over the weekend to assist with the transition. Students at the nationally-ranked Rush University College of Nursing were stationed in each of the rooms receiving patients to welcome patients and their families and to orient them to their new location.
Approximately one-third of Rush’ total inpatient beds will remain in use in the existing Atrium and Kellogg buildings.
The patient move followed the first phase of the new hospital’s opening on Friday, Jan. 6, when emergency department staff in Rush’s Robert R. McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response on the Tower’s first floor began treating patients. The overnight shift in the former emergency department, located in a more than 100-year-old building, said goodbye to the facility during a farewell ceremony at 7 a.m. on Friday. A dedication of the new emergency department and blessing of the staff was held at 11 a.m. on the same day.
Numerous clinical units and service areas successfully moved, set up and prepared their new locations in the Tower over the weekend.
The $654 million, 830,000 square foot new hospital building has 304 private adult and critical care beds on the top five floors, named the Herb Family Acute and Critical Care Tower. Rush has a total 664 beds in operation in its new and existing facilities.
The Tower’s ground floor houses the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response, which encompasses the emergency department. The first of its kind in the U.S., the center is designed to provide an unprecedented level of readiness for large-scale health emergencies from a mass outbreak of an infectious disease, a bio-terrorist attack, or an accident that spills hazardous materials. The center houses an expanded emergency department with 60 treatment bays with a surge capacity of 133 percent.
Three consecutive floors at the base of the hospital are devoted to what is known as an interventional platform, where diagnostic testing, surgical and interventional services and recovery are located within a short distance of each other, resulting in enhanced collaboration between medical specialists while making services more convenient for patients and families. It includes 42 procedure rooms with enlarged operating rooms to accommodate new technology. Rush is one of a small number of leading medical centers in the country and the only center in Illinois to incorporate an interventional platform.
The third floor houses the Mary Jo and John Boler Center for Advanced Imaging. Advances in imaging using MRI, CT, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and other methods are revolutionizing how heart disease, cancer and a multitude of other conditions are diagnosed and treated.
“From the outset of our planning, we have worked to develop new models of care and to adapt to changes in the health care environment that will better enable Rush to address critical issues regarding access to care, containing and reducing costs, achieving better outcomes and ensuring that the patient is at the center of the health care continuum,” said Peter Butler, president and chief operating officer of Rush.
The Tower is the major component of Rush’s 10-year, $1 billion campus redevelopment project called the Rush Transformation, which combines new construction, renovations of select campus buildings and investments in leading edge technology, including a comprehensive electronic health information system. It is the largest capital project in Rush’s 174-year history. Following the Tower’s opening, the next phase of the Rush Transformation will be the renovation of selected areas in the Atrium Building, located at 1650 W. Harrison St.
Rush’s new Tower will be Chicago’s first full-service, “green” hospital. It was designed to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and use sustainable building materials. Rush is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification for the Tower. LEED recognizes organizations that design and construct environmentally responsible and efficient buildings. Two other new buildings at Rush – a new parking structure and Orthopedic Building, completed in 2009 –also were built with a host of sustainable features, as was Rush’s new outpatient cancer center, which occupies a floor of renovated space in Rush’s Professional Office Building.
The new hospital building and the Rush Transformation are being funded by operating revenue, debt financing, philanthropy and city, state and federal grants. Perkins+Will served as the architects for the new hospital. The project, managed by Power/Jacobs Joint Venture, has remained on time and on budget, despite the challenging economic environment.
For more information, go to http://transforming.rush.edu.