Reinventing Inpatient Psychiatry

Northwestern Medicine
Psychiatry and Psychology January 09, 2012
The plain white walls, fluorescent lights and sparse furnishings that make psychiatric units look like and feel like an institution are a distant memory at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Years of planning and preparation culminated this fall when the first patients were welcomed into The Stone Institute of Psychiatry’s new inpatient psychiatric unit. The innovative facility features a design layout and model of care that is tailored to a psychiatric patient’s unique needs, resulting in a faster re-integration back into society.

The new inpatient unit was constructed to ensure patients have exceptional care, while maintaining dignity, privacy and safety in a healing environment. The center consists of 25 private rooms and two double rooms featuring clean lines and no clutter to encourage a soothing atmosphere. The new space is filled with an abundance of natural light and calming artwork on the walls. The ability to dim overhead lighting during sunrise and sunset will aid in treatment of sleep disturbances.

Care in the unit is delivered in what’s called a “neighborhood” concept where there’s a focus on restoring normal psychology and patterns of physical behavior by replicating a “model of life.” Patients’ rooms are considered their “home,” while the dayroom is the “neighborhood.” The treatment mall, where patients have group sessions, is thought of as “working downtown.” This concept will aid in helping the patient transition from inpatient to outpatient care.

Years of planning and preparation went into the innovative design layout and model of care for the new unit. The new inpatient unit was constructed to ensure patients have exceptional care, while maintaining dignity, privacy and safety in a healing environment.

For more information about psychiatric care at Northwestern Memorial, visit our Behavioral Health website.