Rush Memorial Expands Treatment Capacity with Renovation

Flexible spaces, fixtures, and features meet demand for patient care


Today’s healthcare environments need the ability to flex their patient care spaces to meet fluctuating demand. With physical environments, this is not easy to achieve. Design Collaborative recently worked closely with Rush Memorial Hospital to modernize its Med-Surg space to better serve its patient community and medical staff. Through strategic programming and planning, the design team was able to fit eight (8) private rooms and one (1) step-down ICU beds in the renovated space. The former multi-patient rooms were converted to private rooms with the capability of accommodating a second patient when circumstances require. Future planned renovations will introduce upwards of six (6) more beds to the unit.


All but two of the private rooms are fitted with a primary and secondary headwall. The secondary headwall has all the same functions as the primary headwall. However, when not in use, the secondary headwall serves as storage with the primary services designed to be hidden. This allows for private rooms to function as semi-private rooms when the census or other circumstances dictate. The added flexibility of the patient rooms allows the hospital system to have a total capacity of 15 functioning beds on the Med-Surg unit when demand or needs require it.


“We are thrilled that we were able to increase the treatment capacity for Rush Memorial’s patients, while improving the overall function of the Med-Surg unit,” stated Mike Niezer, AIA, associate partner and architect. “Having a flexible space that can ebb and flow with demand and according to need in healthcare environments can be challenging to achieve, but this space will serve Rush Memorial and its patients for years to come.”


The changes to the Med-Surg floor also included the relocation and expanded renovation of the nurse station and supporting functions to not only increase collaboration among staff but also provide better wayfinding and access to patients. All work was completed in phases to allow for the continual operation of the Med-Surg floor and service to the community. The outcome of the renovation hopes to have a direct, positive impact on Rush Memorial’s HCAHPS scores. The project completed in March 2020 and included approximately 5,800-square-feet of space.


Tracey Gould, M.S. IMC, CPSM
Director of Business Development & Marketing