The new Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Planned, constructed, and operated through the patients first philosophy

P. J. Briggs, M. C. Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: On May 1, 1999, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, after ten years of planning and construction, opened a 2 million-square-foot replacement hospital and ambulatory care center designed to deliver patient-centered care well into the 21st century. SEEKING INPUT FOR THE BUILDING DESIGN: More than 1000 persons, including physicians, patients and families, volunteers, board members, neighborhood residents, and employees, made up the 125 functional user groups that assessed every aspect of the building plan, from structural configuration and space usage to signage and control of infectious disease. Senior management developed guiding assumptions and objectives for the replacement facility: Promote patient convenience and comfort; support staff and improve service/operational efficiencies; eliminate duplication of costly technologies; introduce leading-edge innovations in infection control, information technology, communications, and other areas; and provide flexibility for future technologies and growth. OUTCOMES: The new building has accomplished its core goals. Patients receive all their medical care without leaving the facility. Inpatient and outpatient services have been separated to provide enhanced privacy, greater comfort, and efficiency for all patients. EPILOGUE: The $580 million project was completed on time and on budget. The physical move of patients on this date occurred smoothly and quickly, with no patient care or employee safety problems. Most of the unexpected problems were minor and easily rectified. During the first six weeks, key management team members met daily to debrief on new issues identified and old ones resolved, and issued e-mail bulletins to highlight improvements and solicit feedback and other ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalThe Joint Commission journal on quality improvement
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


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