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Palos Community Hospital addition to open March 19

Jim Sibley Director Public Relations points out some technology Hybrid Operating Room new additiPalos Community Hospital Palos Heights Illinois Wednesday

Jim Sibley, Director of Public Relations, points out some of the technology in the Hybrid Operating Room in the new addition at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, Illinois, Wednesday, February 6, 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media

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Public invited

What: The new 400,000-square-foot Hospitaller Pavilion

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 3

Where: Palos Community Hospital, 12251 S. 80th Ave.,
Palos Heights

RSVP: Call (708) 226-2300

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Updated: March 8, 2013 7:37AM



Palos Community Hospital will celebrate its 41st anniversary on March 19 with the opening of its latest addition — the 400,000-square-foot Hospitaller Pavilion.

Named after the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, who in 1920 bought the land at 122nd Street and 80th Avenue where the hospital now sits, the new pavilion is a reminder of their vision and leadership.

After 41 years, the hospital is doubling in size, converting its 430-bed layout to all private rooms, expanding its outpatient services, and offering the latest technology — without harming its wooded landscape, hospital officials say.

“We have always been good stewards of our natural setting. That has always been important to us,” hospital spokesman Jim Sibley said. In fact, more trees have been planted on the hospital’s 40-acre site in Palos Heights.

The new seven-story pavilion brings lots of natural light into the building via skylights, and offers panoramic views from the top of the structure. But those are only two of the amenities in the addition, which the public may tour on March 3.

The main entrance will shift from the west to the north side of the building, and with new signs directing visitors, the hospital setting will be easier to navigate, Sibley said during a media tour Wednesday.

Throughout the building are features designed to improve patient care and enhance healing, while making staff operations safer and more efficient, he said.

Some features are as subtle as the wood tones, curved lines and side lighting designed to create a soothing environment. Others are more dramatic, more technical, such as the Hybrid operating room — the only one of its kind in the area — which combines all of the features of a surgical suite with imaging services.

The number of patient rooms will remain the same, but all will be converted to private rooms.

Beginning in June, the second phase of the project will be the remodeling of 190,000 square feet of existing rooms and other areas.

The hospital did not need more beds, but rather more space to accommodate the latest health care technology, Sibley said.

The new features include:

Private patient rooms — designed with input from staff — with private bathrooms, hook-ups for medical equipment, large-screen TVs, and couches that recline or fold into a bed for visiting family.

Improved communication systems between nurses and patients, staff and family.

Workstations on Wheels — WOWs — will allow nurses to have electronic medical records and patient care information on mobile computer stations.

A new Center for Short Term Care, for outpatient procedures, located at the main entrance, with space for 55 private patient bays and 11 nursing stations, to bring nurses closer to patients. New tracking technology will allow families to monitor a patient’s progress. According to Sibley, 75 percent of Palos’ procedures are outpatient.

Fourteen operating rooms, equipped with improved LED lighting and computer monitors for immediate access to all patient information, and large enough to perform a variety of procedures, eliminating the need for specialty rooms. One surgical suite will feature the da Vinci robotic system.

State-of-the-art intensive care units on the sixth and seventh floors, with nursing monitoring stations for every two rooms, allowing patients to be monitored without being disturbed. Also a separate area for those in isolation.

WiFi throughout.

Planning for the new addition and remodeling, estimated to cost $420 million, began in 2006. A power plant was moved and a new, more energy-efficient one was built to the east, to make room for the addition. A new 600-space parking deck also was built.

The existing labs and operating rooms will be converted into a women’s center, for mammography, radiology, nuclear medicine and other common outpatient procedures.

Prior to opening, staff will stage a “day in the life” in which they will rehearse multiple scenarios to fully test the new building and its new systems, Sibley said.

Staff members also have prepared for the patient moving day, March 24, by conducting a mock move.

“Teams of people have been trained to maintain patient care all the way through,” Sibley said.

Once daily operations have become routine in the new Hospitaller Pavilion, remodeling will begin in the existing St. George pavilion, and a new corridor will connect the two.



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