University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences

Picture: The new post-partum room located on the 3NE side of Mitchell Hospital.

The University of Chicago Medicine opened one-half of the post-partum unit located on the 3rd floor of the Bernard R. Mitchell Hospital on October 1, signaling the completion of the first phase of the two-part construction project.

In January 2015, UChicago Medicine began construction to improve the 3NE side of the floor. The first phase included:

  • Shifting post-partum operations from the northeast side of the floor (3NE) to the temporary overflow location on the sixth floor (6NW) of Mitchell
  • Renovating and making technological updates to 6NW to accommodate staff and patients
  • Constructing 13 updated post-partum rooms, nurse stations, staff locker rooms, a new family waiting room and reception area
  • Upgrading technological systems such as the Rauland nurse call and VOIP (voice-over internet protocols)

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) provided UChicago Medicine with occupancy approval for phase one in August 2015. Nurse trainings and workflow development along with technological systems testing took place before opening the 3NE side of the floor for patients.

The second phase of the construction project has begun and is scheduled to be completed in January 2016. This phase entails:

  • Relocating the post-partum services on northwest side of the floor (3NW) to the overflow area
  • Completing the remaining 18 post-partum rooms, nursing stations, utility rooms and a new administrative suite

“The new look of the rooms will provide mothers a more modern environment to nurture their newborn babies,” said Tonia Harden, project manager. “They are much larger to accommodate families. The warm color palate is soothing and the furniture is placed in areas to give mother and baby several seating options to feel comfortable while in our care.”

An integral part of the renovation to the approximately 21,000-square-foot space is technology upgrades. Chicago Biomedicine Information Services (CBIS) and Information Technology Services (ITS) partnered to create a technology “closet” that will serve as the hub for the nurse call system, VOIP, and wireless internet connections.

“The post-partum unit will now be compliant with hospital technology standards and provide staff with the tools to give the best care to mothers and their babies, said Kate Jones, executive director of Women’s Care Services.

Additionally, patients will be able to access the GetWellNetwork, an interactive learning tool on in-room televisions that is designed to empower patients to participate in their own care.

The Mitchell post-partum unit is scheduled to be fully completed in mid-2016.

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