BARRINGTON – The scope of the $247 million modernization of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital becomes apparent upon walking through the main entrance.
Two-story-high glass windows flood the lobby with sunlight, replacing the old brick tunnel that used to greet patients and their families. But visitors will immediately reap a benefit far greater than aesthetics.
Every outpatient testing and diagnostic service – X-ray, MRI, ultrasound and the like – is now just upstairs from that lobby, ending the days in which they were scattered throughout the hospital. Downstairs at the main entrance is the breast care center – which, like much of the hospital, has been upgraded with the latest technology.
The entrance and the one-stop shop for diagnostic services is just the start, said Clinical and Support Services Administrator Alison Wyler, director of the modernization project.
“We’ve provided outstanding service for many years, but this really is just the icing on the cake. It’s a great first impression,” Wyler said during a walk-through.
After 20 months of work, the hospital will unveil the changes at an open house and ribbon cutting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. While the main entrance opens the following Monday, other projects still are ongoing in the hospital – the modernization project is about 80 percent finished, Wyler said.
Also upstairs from the entrance is a new and much-improved waiting area for families whose loved ones are undergoing surgery. And the new operating rooms, as well as four floors of new private patient rooms, are state-of-the-art.
The hospital’s eight new operating rooms are larger, roomier and contain the latest technology, said Public Affairs and Marketing Manager Liz Donofrio. Besides new surgical equipment, new imaging tools will allow surgeons to get instant access to patient scans and X-rays, and large wall-mounted screens will display images taken during procedures.
But the 102 now-private rooms at the hospital also received a healthy dose of high-tech, on top of being roomier and more comfortable. Each room has a private bathroom and shower, and a couch that can be pulled out into a bed for visiting family.
Among the “smart room” amenities are flat-screen televisions that, besides entertainment, provide each patient with their specific itinerary for treatments and events. Floor nurses wear smart badges that flash their picture and name on the screen upon their entering the room. And patients will have call buttons in which they can specify their need, such as water, pain treatment or bathroom assistance, which will page the employee best suited to help.
The third floor, which is dedicated to orthopedic surgery, also contains a rehabilitation gym, saving recovering patients a trip to another part of the hospital.
Wyler said every aspect of the modernization project was designed with patient comfort, convenience, and the future of health care delivery, in mind.
“We’ve involved front-line staff, physicians, leadership and industry experts in the planning from the beginning,” Wyler said.
Visitors to the open house will be treated to food, music, self-guided tours, family activities and free infant car seat checks. The first 200 attendees will receive a bicycle helmet.