The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) has broken ground for a new state-of-the-art medical facility a few blocks away from its current building. Projected to open in 2016, the 1.2 million-square-foot, 242-bed hospital will be three times larger than the existing hospital it will replace.
The new hospital will have five centers specializing in brain, spinal cord, nervous system, cancer and pediatric rehabilitation. Each center will feature an “Ability Lab,” a new method of care that integrates research and treatment. It is a radical new concept in which in physicians, scientists, engineers, therapists and innovators of many kinds will work side-by-side around a patient in a space specifically designed to spark innovation.
The Ability Labs’ model of integrated care will allow patients to benefit from research results sooner. “Breakthrough research that used to take 10 years from lab to scientific journal to hospital may now be introduced to our patients right away,” said Dr. Joanne Smith, RIC President and CEO. “We will see enormous acceleration in our ability to understand and to solve patients’ problems.”