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Smaller Patient Care Units at New Silver Cross Hospital Designed to Enhance Care for Patients/Family Members

Replacement Hospital Opening Feb. 26, 2012 at I-355 & Route 6 in New Lenox

Joliet, IL  (Sept. 21, 2011)--Even before the ground was broken, the leadership team at Silver Cross staff knew that they wanted to design the replacement hospital to provide the best possible care for area patients and their family members while creating a supportive work environment for staff.   The Replacement Hospital Care Delivery Team spent many months querying the staff and researching best practices at other new hospitals.  The Hospital even performed a few tests of their own including a Time and Motion Study to measure how many steps and how long it took a nurse to perform a simple task on a unit.  The end result—smaller 18-bed patient care units in the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.

hospital floor

“Today we have 54 beds on a typical Medical-Surgical Unit.  That means 27 beds per centralized nurses’ station,” says Peggy Gricus, Vice President of Patient Care. “This equates to less time at the bedside and frankly, quite a bit of walking by staff to hunt and gather supplies. When we open our beautiful new hospital at 7 a.m. on Feb. 26, 2012 each unit will have 18 beds with two nurses stations or Care Centers as they will be called since these Centers truly are the gathering and consulting area for many patient care disciplines—not only nurses.”

care centerIn the new 289-bed state-of-the-art hospital, nurses will work out of the Care Center closest to their patients.  There will be a large Care Center in the middle of the unit with a pneumatic tube system and a smaller Care Station at the end closest to the center core of the hospital where the visitor elevators are located.  Each Care Center will have a couple of computers, area to confidentially store patient charts, monitor to help locate caregivers, and a small work station for staff and physicians to collaborate.   The majority of the charting and documentation will happen at the bedside allowing staff to spend more time with patients and family members.  Supplies will be stored in nurse servers outside of each large private patient room or in the Clean Utility room right next to the Care Center.  Clerks will travel between units carrying a portable communication device.  They will work closely with Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) who will also be processing orders.  Because the units are smaller, the caregiver teams will also be smaller fostering even more staff cohesiveness and teamwork.

“We anticipate that smaller units will provide staff with an opportunity to render even more specialized care,” says Mary Shanahan, Administrative Director of Nursing at Silver Cross Hospital.  “Each patient room will be acuity-adaptable and large enough for procedures to be performed at the bedside.  Patients will also have more consistency of caregivers enhancing our seven-time 100 Top Care even further.”

Designed for Doctors, Too!
Not only did Silver Cross design the new unit with patients and staff in mind, but there are many upgrades that should make the time that physicians have rounding with patients more productive.  First of all, patients won’t be spread throughout the campus; like patients will be on the same floor, in the same unit.  And, they will be able to locate the nurse or other caregivers easily due to the new floor design and nurse call system.  The larger private rooms provides doctors the opportunity to pull up images and test results using the computer in the patient’s room and consult with the entire family at the bedside.  For those physicians who prefer to dictate on the unit, there are designated quiet, physician work areas at the Care Centers.

For more information about the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital, visit   For regular updates, follow Silver Cross Hospital on Twitter and Facebook. A short video about the new hospital is also available on YouTube.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895.  Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last seven consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction is well underway to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in Feb. 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.  To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


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