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Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, Illinois

January 2015
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, IL; Photographer: Craig Dugan

Cannon design

Firm's role on the project: Standardize medical and surgical rooms.

EBD Goal

Proactively support standardization of the Med/Surg patient room across Advocate Health System while continuing to enhance the patient experience. 


Three years ago Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, IL, collaborated with CannonDesign to develop a system-wide standard for the Med/Surg Patient Room.  Advocate and CannonDesign are now working together to assure the standard evolves to meet the needs of all users over time.


The original Med/Surg Patient Room standard was developed during the process of designing the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital private room bed tower in Park Ridge, IL. A room mock-up gave future users the opportunity to give feedback on the design which was informed by best practices identified in literature related to safety, patient-centered care, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. Key evidence-informed attributes included:
  • Outboard patient toilet rooms located on the headwall
  • Same-handed rooms and standardized headwalls
  • Nurse servers to enhance efficiency and access to supplies
  • Family zones to support patient and family well-being 
In anticipation of three new patient bed towers utilizing the standard, CannonDesign met with members of the nursing, maintenance, and security staff after they had occupied the new space at ALGH for three years to solicit feedback on their experience.  Advocate is now surveying nursing staff in both the “classic” and new patient bed towers at ALGH to compare their experience and use data to validate these qualitative findings.  Simultaneously, a new mock-up of the Med/Surg Patient Room standard has been created at Advocate Good Samaritan Medical Center in Downers Grove, IL to get additional input on the standard. 

While several modifications will be made, the redesign of the nurse server illustrates how the standard is evolving to support best practices.  Specifically, issues related to the doors latching on the patient side and securing medication drawers are being addressed. The nurse server that will be specified in the new standard includes the following features:
  • Patient room side millwork doors to address warpage and hardware issues.
  • An upgrade to electronic commercial grade latching/locking hardware for medication drawer.
  • Reversing the corridor side door swings to accommodate the isolation room layout. 
Moving forward Advocate and CannonDesign will continue to evolve this and other standards to assure that they continue to meet the needs of the organization and reflect best practices.


While The Center believes that the information in this resource is valid, it has not fact-checked the information or tested any findings. The Center disclaims any warranties, expressed or implied, regarding this content.