Helping a Major Children’s Hospital Transition to a New Facility


ECG helped an internationally renowned children’s hospital transition operations to a new location while maintaining care quality and delivery.

the challenge

Children's Memorial Hospital (CMH) was the region's top provider of pediatric specialty care, and Illinois's only freestanding hospital exclusively for kids. Licensed for 270 beds with a medical staff of 1,100 pediatric specialists, CMH offered services in 70 pediatric specialties for children from every state and more than 35 countries. After 130 years in Lincoln Park, the hospital was preparing to move from 700,000 square feet of outdated facilities to a new replacement hospital in the Streeterville area of downtown Chicago.

Migration to an urban campus brings with it several challenges: maintaining service levels and quality during the transition; ensuring seamless communication with the public, patients, physicians, and staff; managing the anticipated shift in culture; learning new equipment, technologies, and systems; enabling easy access to the facility and all its various destinations; and supporting movement of patients, staff, and materials in a condensed vertical building.

the process

Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA), which has since joined ECG Management Consultants, has been a planning partner for CMH since 2003. Over the years, working with executive leadership, KSA has helped CMH to define future clinical and research targets, evaluate opportunities for growth, determine optimal space and functional requirements, as well as redefine operations and transition into a new facility. Significant and most recent components of this planning partnership are listed below.

  • Conducted a diagnostic assessment of transition and activation readiness to identify priority areas for continued focus and dedication of resources
  • Developed 675 operating standards for the organization, encompassing key performance targets, patient care delivery mechanisms, and interdepartmental protocols
  • Created 75 department-level operating plans for the new hospital, embracing best practices in clinical care and logistics and adhering to organizational goals, metrics, and planning standards
  • Helped plan the strategy and support the smooth transition of more than 4,000 physicians and staff and over 120 patients to the new hospital, minimizing risk and maintaining patient safety and staff, physician, and patient satisfaction

the outcome

The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago opened in June 2012, boasting almost 290 private inpatient beds, a Level I Trauma Center, Level III NICU, and significant ambulatory space. At 1.25 million square feet spanning 23 stories, Lurie Children’s is the tallest children’s hospital in the United States. Proximity to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Prentice Women’s Hospital, the Rehab Institute of Chicago, and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine creates synergies across mission-based activities in research, education, and patient care. Since opening, Lurie Children’s has consistently been ranked in the US News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll” and was ranked number 6 in 2016.

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