Next Phase of Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital’s $12 Million Emergency Department Modernization Completed

DeKalb, IL – March 30, 2022 – The next phase of a $12 million renovation project at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital’s Emergency Department opened March 28th. The modernization plan is 80-percent complete with nearly all patient-facing areas completely overhauled to improve efficiency and the patient experience.
“Our Emergency Department staff is truly extraordinary, and we are excited to offer a physical space that enhances care with better flow and updated equipment,” said Maura O’Toole, president, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital. “Our community will benefit from the more modern design and numerous upgrades to help ease the stress of an emergency room visit.”
The newly completed phase includes eight exam rooms, two trauma rooms, two isolation rooms and a nursing station. The area is designed in a hub and spoke model, with the clinical workstation in the center and treatment bays around the exterior allowing physicians and nurses improved access to all patients.
“The flow of the department is increasingly smoother, from the time the patient arrives to the triage area through to discharge,” said Melody Noon, RN, manager, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Emergency Department. “Patients experience forward motion so they are being cared for in the appropriate areas for their particular needs and we can more efficiently prepare for the next patient.”
Flow is improved for both walk-in patients and those brought via ambulance. The new ambulance entrance and a room for EMS personnel is better organized for first responders with essential amenities.
This phase also includes an additional behavioral health suite, bringing the total to four treatment bays designed to promote safety for patients and staff. When a bay is being used for a behavioral health patient, an overhead door will be lowered to ensure the patient is protected from any equipment that could be used to cause self-harm.
The first phase of the project, which opened in October 2021, featured a new waiting room, triage area, two isolation rooms and three holding bays for patients waiting for results. Additionally, five fast-track rooms opened that are designed to quickly treat patients with mild ailments and injuries, such as sore throat, urinary tract infections and sprained ankles.
Throughout the project new medical equipment has been installed, including new stretchers and a second pneumatic tube station to efficiently send specimens to the lab. An overflow area, equipped with medical gas, can accommodate additional patients if needed during a surge event. Additionally, a dedicated Security Services office is now embedded within the Emergency Department.
“Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee emergency department patients and staff have already begun to reap the benefits of a renovated and updated clinical workspace. We can now handle greater volumes of patients in a safe and efficient manner, all while providing the highest quality of care to the entire community,” said Jeremy Silver, MD, medical director, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Emergency Department.
The final phase, expected to be completed by September 2022, will include four exam rooms, one trauma room and the staff lounge. When completed the number of patient treatment and holding areas in the Emergency Department will increase from 23 to 34.

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