The New Silver Cross Hospital: Designed for Faster Healing
Planning began in 2005 to build a new Silver Cross Hospital. After 18 months of careful deliberations considering every option to improve the current Joliet facilities, the Hospital’s Board of Directors made a bold decision to build a replacement hospital just 3½ miles away at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. On July 1, 2007, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board gave Silver Cross approval to proceed with our plans to construct a 289-bed facility taking our award-winning care to the next level.
Now complete, the 76-acre campus ensures that Silver Cross will be able to continue our mission to provide high quality, personalized healthcare for future generations. The new hospital is designed to enhance how we deliver care to our patients and also incorporate family members into the healing process. The new hospital opened on Feb. 26, 2012, with private, larger family-friendly rooms, advanced technology, and a more efficient environment improving access to services.
“Every facet of the new hospital was designed with one goal in mind—to provide an extraordinary experience for patients and visitors,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “Hundreds of doctors, nurses and caregivers lent a hand in designing the hospital making sure that we continue to bring our 100 Top Care to the residents of Will County and surrounding communities.”
“We wanted to create the safest and most efficient rooms that will allow us to give the best possible care to our patients and their family members,” said Peggy Gricus, Vice President of Patient Care.
Each room is located on a smaller 18-20 bed unit and has a standardized layout with dedicated areas for caregivers, patients and their loved ones. Patients benefit from natural and abundant lighting, cheerful and calming colors with ties to nature, and quiet surroundings. Many room controls can be accessed from the bed. There are locked wardrobes to safeguard personal belongings and lifts to assist caregivers in moving patients safely in and out of bed. Additional handrails assist patients to the bathroom which has a special nurse call box with audio to help prevent falls.
“Several of the room’s design elements are associated with better quality outcomes and higher patient satisfaction,” Peggy Gricus said. “For example, reducing hospital noise can improve patient recovery and sleep time and reduce depression. Factors such as increased sunlight in patient rooms, views of nature, artwork, and even music, also reduce patient stress and lead to improved outcomes.”
Rooms are acuity-adaptable, which means that we now have the space, supplies and staff to deliver the appropriate level of care to the patient rather than transfer the patient between units. The headwall is equipped with electrical and data ports as well as essential gasses (oxygen, med-air, etc.) allowing more procedures to be performed at the bedside. Doctors and nurses can also chart in each room and view images and test results with patients on bedside computers.
“Patients and families are encouraged and supported to participate in care and decision-making at the level they choose,” Gricus said. “There is even a sofa-sleeper in each room to make family members more comfortable.”
Advanced Technology Improves Care Delivery
One of the single most exciting areas in the new hospital is the Procedural Care Unit (PCU) where surgery, endoscopy and interventional cardiology and radiology procedures come together into a single integrated area.
“Consolidating these surgical services into a central location minimizes unnecessary patient movement, maximizes efficiency, and promotes quality outcomes and safety,” said Marybeth Antone, Administrative Director of Surgery and Cardiology.
Each of the 11 state-of-the-art operating rooms (OR) is designed to be used for any type of procedure and adapt to future needs. All have equipment that allows surgeons and radiologists to browse through images and project on to video screens. There is also special green surgical lighting in the rooms which makes seeing patient’s anatomy easier.
In the new hospital, we have a DaVinci robot, which is is a surgical system designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. Controlled by a surgeon from a console, it is commonly used for prostatectomies and hysterectomies. And later this summer, we will be acquiring a biplane angiography imaging system which is effective in diagnosing and treating stroke. The biplane will be located in the interventional core along with the cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and interventional radiology labs. The PCU also has four state-of-the art endoscopy suites to perform colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal procedures, a large Post Anesthesia Care Unit with two private pediatric recovery rooms, and 66 pre-post procedure patient rooms—all of which are private.
In planning for the future, Silver Cross has also invested in new imaging technology including a wide bore MRI to accommodate claustrophobic, pediatric and bariatric patients; a CT Scanner; 2 fluoroscopy systems to visualize motion inside the body; and several digital X-ray machines that allow physicians look at images anytime from anywhere.
“What this means for patients is reduced hospital stays, accurate and more timely diagnosis and decreased wait time for results,” Antone said.
Improved Access to Services
The hospital’s unique design and adjacencies to three medical buildings will improve how patients access care. Individuals coming for physician office visit or an outpatient test or service will be cared for in Pavilions A and B or the University of ChicagoMedicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Inside, patients will find a spacious shared lobby, self-registration kiosks, and a Walgreens Pharmacy. Complimentary valet parking is available outside both the Pavilion and Hospital entrances.
Our 38-bed Emergency Department is conveniently located off of I-355 and I-80. To accommodate the increased traffic, there is a separate entrance just for ambulances with a bay large enough for 9 vehicles. To transfer Level I trauma patients there is also a Helipad right outside the door complete with heating coils beneath to melt the ice in the winter. Patients arriving by car will be greeted in the Lobby, escorted to a registration station and taken to a treatment room. Patients can check wait times—if any—online at www.silvercross.org for both the New Lenox Emergency Department and Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.
Patients and family members alike can also take advantage of the many amenities located in the hospital’s beautiful Lobby including Café 1900 brewing Starbucks beverages, Guest Services Lounge, Chapel, Library, Financial Services Center, and Childerguild Gift Shop. For patients waiting for a ride, they can do so comfortably in the Discharge Lounge.
Just down the hall is the 2-story Seasons Dining Room complete with a brick-oven pizza station, charbroiled grill and bakery. There is a walk-out patio leading to the Dralle Serenity Garden. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the campus.
“We made a commitment to our patients and the community to design a well thought-out hospital that contributes to a speedier recovery,” adds Peggy Gricus. “And we believe that the new Silver Cross Hospital does just that and more.”