University of Chicago Hospitals said it is in the early conceptual phase of plans to build a $500 million hospital pavilion next to its existing hospitals, expanding its current capacity by one-third. The health system and the university boards and the state certificate-of-need board would have to approve the plans. System spokesman John Easton said the project would expand inpatient bed capacity, operating rooms, equipment and other services. In a news release, system President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Riordan said, "Our thinking thus far has focused on how we could build a new hospital pavilion that could accommodate the rapid-fire, hard-to-predict changes that have swept through medical science and technology in the last three decades and that continue to gain speed. Our immediate goal will be to design a facility that is as innovative as the activity inside, a building so extraordinarily flexible that renovation, redeployment and reequipping of space can be accomplished economically and with minimal disruption to ongoing operations." -- by Mark Taylor
Chicago system at work on plans for 'flexible' hospital
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