Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=198227
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ZEN VUONG/MEDILL

Plasma TV and even a hide-a-bed for a guest add to the care at new Rush hospital where patients moved this weekend.


Rush University Medical Center opens new 'Tower'

by Zen Vuong
Jan 10, 2012


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ZEN VUONG/MEDILL

New Rush hospital building designed to provide better care and faster service for patients.

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ZEN VUONG/MEDILL

Rodina White's new room is "much, much larger" than her room at The Atrium. "It's just very, very comfortable," she said.

Hospital staff, nurses and doctors on Sunday transferred patients from Rush University Medical Center’s more than 100-year-old emergency department and not as old general hospital, The Atrium. They relocated approximately 200 patients to “The Tower,” a new $654 million 14-story building at 1653 W. Congress Parkway.

This butterfly-shaped building is designed to expedite hospital care, said Kydie Grosshuesch-Schriver, assistant unit director on 13 East Tower. The triangular nurse stations don't have a desk to separate nurses from patients. The 830,000 square-feet building contains 304 private adult and critical care beds on its top five floors. Private rooms are identical and offer a flat-screen TV, armchair, sofa with pullout bed and a small safe. As the normal hospital rooms are on the top five floors, patients get a great view of the cityscape.

The bottom floors include the emergency department, equipped to help trauma patients and even those affected by potential bioterrorist attacks or pandemics. State-of-the-art radiology equipment provides expedited service on the bottom floors of the new, green building.

One-third of The Atrium, the old hospital building at 1650 W. Harrison St., will close for renovations now that The Tower is open for patients.