The .8 million suite is designed to ease patient flow, streamline surgical care, and enhance comfort and convenience for patients.Photos courtesy Rush Oak Park

Oak Park’s oldest hospital and one of its largest employers unveiled $1.8 million worth of renovations Monday, improvements it hopes will better serve a growing part of the hospital’s business.

Rush set to work earlier this year, and just recently completed a new and improved same-day surgery area — where patients come before and after they have an operation that doesn’t require an overnight stay.

The hospital has seen a 21 percent increase in patients who have same-day surgeries from July to September, the first quarter of its fiscal year. And Rush looked to make the changes to get ahead of that expected surge, said President and CEO Bruce Elegant.

“This new facility was needed because we anticipated that increase in volume, and our current facility was too small to handle it,” he said.

The new same-day surgery area has 24 patient rooms, all fitted with flat-screen TVs. It’s decorated with earth tones, dark woods and marble counter tops, to match the hospital’s main lobby.

Work on the new same-day surgery area started in March, and was finished on Sept. 30, under budget but a couple of weeks behind scheduled, according to Elegant. It can’t start accepting patients until a final inspection is completed by the state, which should happen in the next two to three months.

A $700,000 renovation of the hospital’s cafeteria is expected to be finished by early November.

Other renovations include moving the out-patient area (where people go before and after their surgeries) off the fourth floor to the first floor, and increasing the size of the out-patient waiting area. The latter now has wireless Internet, TVs, space for families to visit, and more privacy, since patients will no longer have to share rooms.

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