The medical and surgical intensive care unit at Edward Hospital in Naperville has been in a "chronic overflow state" for the past few years, but officials say that soon will ease with the opening of a $63.7 million addition.
The two-story addition atop the hospital's west building gives doctors and nurses space to treat nine more adult intensive care patients at a time in larger rooms with updated technology.
"We are moving from a 13-bed unit to a 24-bed unit," Jean Rader, director of inpatient and orthopedic/spine services, said about the new area on the fourth floor. "It's giving the nurses a lot bigger spaces to be able to work on their patients."
The 86,500-square-foot addition also creates a new 36-bed Orthopedic and Spine Center for those recovering from surgeries on joints including hips, knees and shoulders.
Each room has built-in lift equipment to help nurses move patients whose mobility is limited and a specially designed chair for patients to strengthen surgically replaced joints, said Lynn Cochran, associate vice president for operations.
"We're really excited about the new technology in our new rooms," Cochran said.
The hospital will move patients into the new Orthopedic and Spine Center on July 8 and transfer patients into the new intensive care unit July 9, she said.
"We will meet the needs of the community more effectively in the winter when people tend to be sicker," Cochran said.
Rooms in the Orthopedic and Spine Center average about 280 square feet, while patient rooms in the new intensive care unit average roughly 200 square feet -- both larger than current spaces.
Each floor's design has patient rooms on the perimeter with a nurse's station, medication room and equipment room in the middle. Cochran and Rader said the medication and equipment rooms are standardized and more organized than in the past.
Nurses will be able to enter the area from all four sides of the wing, pick up any medicines their patients need, grab supplies such as fresh sheets, dressings for wounds or kits to start IVs and exit on any side of the wing to take the quickest route back to the patient room.
"It takes down the size of a large unit," Rader said.
The new Orthopedic and Spine Center also features a rehab gym where patients can practice motions needed to climb stairs and handle stoops or curbs without tripping, said Karen Granato, director of rehabilitation. Special chairs from each room can be wheeled into the gym for use in exercises.
"A lot of things will get them more independent and more mobile in this space," Granato said.
Once patients are moved from the rooms currently used for orthopedic surgery recovery and intensive care, those spaces will be used to support the hospital's main operating room.
The expansion that created the new areas was announced in 2011.
Original plans called for the addition to be complete by last year, but the hospital pushed back the start and completion dates to review plans and add new areas, such as the rehab gym.