Case Study - Comer Children's Hospital

Comer Children's Hospital
Architects: Stanley Beaman & Sears, HLM Design
Location: Corner of 58th Street and Maryland Avenue in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, IL
Total square feet: 242,000sf
Total floors: Six, plus mechanical penthouse
Total beds: 155
Building dimensions: 354 ft. by 133 ft.

The University of Chicago Medical Center has been at the forefront of medicine since 1927. As part of the Medical Center, the new Comer Children’s Hospital, which replaced the original children's pavilion, is devoted to the medical needs of children. Its mission is to provide superior healthcare in a compassionate manner, ever mindful of each patient’s dignity and individuality.

The Comer Children’s Hospital was designed to provide the most advanced care for children in a family-centered environment. All children who do not require intensive care units have private rooms, with satellite workstations between every two rooms. There are built-in daybeds for parents, flatscreen TVs with DVDs, and large windows which provide natural light and views of the outdoors. In addition, key resources have been carefully located to make the hospital more functional for children, families, physicians, and staff. For example:

- Key family resources, such as a café, Family Learning Center, and playground, are easily accessible on the first floor.
- The chapel is accessible from the lobby, yet set back from mainstream traffic for peace and privacy.
- Related clinical areas, such as the cardiac intensive care unit and the operation rooms, are located next to each other to streamline patient care.
- The satellite pharmacy is centrally located, making it easily accessible to staff from all units.

The hospital also provides a generous Child Life area and outdoor playscape. The artwork program has been carefully conceived to appeal to a culturally diverse patient population.

- 16-slice computerized tomography (CT) scanner incorporates the highest performing technologies to maximize image quality and speed.
- Air is 99.9 percent filtered against airborne contaminates through HEPA filters before being circulated to prevent the spread of infections throughout the hospital. Isolation rooms with special exhaust systems also are on each floor to protect patients from the environment.
- State-of-the-art patient bedside monitors connect with the University of Chicago Hospitals’ computer network. This gives physicians, nurses, and other patient care staff the ability to view real-time data from terminals anywhere in the hospitals. In the future, physicians will be able to see near real-time patient data from home by linking to the Hospitals’ web site.
- The cardiac cath lab is wired with video conferencing so physicians from all over the world can view live procedures and interact with Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital physicians real-time.
- Patients will not hear a loud overhead paging system. A new wireless call system allows patients to press a button and page their nurses silently.