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Rush River North, Chicago, IL

February 2019
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
Rush Lobby Check-In, ERDMAN/Andrew Harris, 2016



EBD Goal

RUMC sought to create a new patient experience tailored to the unique preferences of the residents living in the River North neighborhood while expanding access. They also sought to create a forward-thinking operational model with an emphasis on leveraging technology.


Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) in Chicago occupies a large campus and wanted to expand and attract more patients living in the downtown River North neighborhood with a new clinic. Many of the neighborhood inhabitants are young, mobile, affluent professionals not currently patients.


Selecting the best available site in the downtown corridor at a reasonable price was important to the client. Additionally, developing an operational model that was efficient while striking the right balance between innovation and service, with technologies and options that would satisfy patients, was a high priority. If patients didn't feel the care was high touch or had trouble navigating services, they would likely go elsewhere. If the providers couldn't communicate well or if operations were hindered because technologies weren't facilitating efficient and high-value care, the clinic wouldn't be successful. Reflecting the innovative and high-quality nature of RUMC's care meant the entire design team had to make effective decisions about what to implement and what to exclude.


A site was selected using market data analysis, input from ERDMAN, RUMC, and outside consulting team members. The site selected, based on the client’s criteria and analysis, was originally designed and built as a restaurant and would be repurposed. The team convened several visioning events to discuss goals and current operations along with potential EBD concepts to create a final design.

To support operational planning, a pilot project used a real-time location system (RTLS) to track patients to design remote check-in, check-in kiosks locations, and a self-rooming process. Beyond making sure patients were getting where they needed to be in the onstage operating model, the RTLS study also allowed providers to improve their operational performance when delays occurred. Care team workspaces were redesigned to improve staff communication and use offstage space more efficiently. All steps were done to improve the value and efficiency of care and to keep patients satisfied.


RUMC has been monitoring patient satisfaction results to compare River North with other nearby locations and locations that used the previous operational model. They have reported that patient satisfaction levels have improved at River North when using these comparisons.

Rush River North won the 2016 Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo Adaptive Reuse Award. ERDMAN was presented a Symposium Distinction Award in the Adaptive Reuse category for demonstrating exceptional creativity in successfully renovating and repurposing an existing space.

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