Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your questions. Find answers below by category, with newest additions in green:
Building    |   Staff   |   Patient Care Processes   |   Technology & Equipment   |    Other


Q: When are we moving into the new building?
A: The Patient Move Day is currently scheduled for early March 2017.

Q: How many beds will there be on opening day?
A: The Ability Institute of RIC will open with 242 beds – a 33% increase over our current capacity of 182.

Q: What will parking be like in the new building?
A: The parking floors are Levels 2 through 8 and will hold over 600 parking spots.  An employee parking section is included, which will be gated for staff only. It will be located on the higher level garage floors. Employee and public parking rates are not yet determined. The parking floors are enclosed by the same glass materials as the rest of the building, and will be equipped with a ventilation and fan system to circulate the air in the parking garage with the outside air. There will also be bike parking located in the garage, and shower facilities accessible to all employees.

Q: How will parking in the new building work? Will we swipe in and out of the garage?
A: We have not yet purchased parking system and equipment. We do know the equipment will be activated by a staff members badge. When the RIC team selects the parking system and equipment, they will review the parking system and equipment to ensure it is efficient for staff to use.

Q:  What will building access be like?
A: All staff will receive new badges which will allow them to enter the facility and to access areas of the hospital according to their roles and responsibilities. Staff will also have access to the building stairwells with their badges.

Q: How many elevators will there be?
A: Extensive planning and analysis has been done regarding the design of the elevator system in the new building. There are 24 elevators. There are eight elevators which stop on all floors between the ground floor and the Sky Lobby, located on Level 10. This set of elevators will service all patients, families, guests and some staff.  In the Sky Lobby, after checking in, patients, families and guests will have access to a second set of eight elevators, which will stop on all floors between Level 10 and Level 25.  There is a third set of eight elevators for staff and service only, which will stop on all floors and requires staff badge access.

Q: Other than elevators, will there be other vertical movement amenities?
A:  The new hospital will have linen and trash chutes accessible to staff on each floor and a pneumatic tube system to transport smaller items such as medications and lab specimens.



Q:  Will employees have to re-apply for jobs in the Ability Institute?
A:  No re-application process will be required.  As the new hospital is larger than our current hospital, with more beds, we will need all of current staff and more!

Q: What are Activation Teams and what is their function relative to the new hospital?
A:  There is a Steering Committee and seven Activation Teams (see attached diagram).  The goal of activation is to ensure that operational and facility plans are developed and implemented, that staff is trained and prepared, and that on the day of the move, all necessary equipment, furnishings, processes and staff are in place in order for our patients to experience a seamless transition to our new facility.


Patient Care Processes

Q: There were several questions submitted related to patients traveling for therapy. We have consolidated the questions below and provided one universal answer.

  • How can patients realistically transfer between floors for therapy without losing minutes in therapy?
  • How will patient’s get to and from ability labs efficiently?
  • How are Medicare patients’ minutes going to be managed when they need to transport between multiple floors to attend therapy? Does that come out of therapy time or will this be accounted for and patients given “transportation” breaks?
  • Will someone be in charge of transporting patients between therapy sessions? Or will they be included into therapy time?

A: The Ability Labs will bring research, therapy, and medicine together to promote better patient outcomes. Patients will travel to an AbilityLab™ for treatment specific to their impairment to promote and restore their Ability. This means the majority of patients will travel from the Innovation Centers to different Ability Labs throughout the day.

The transportation of patients to and from Ability Labs is no small task! We have already begun to plan how we will accomplish patient transport in the most efficient and effective manner. We are striving to meet not only regulatory requirements, but more importantly the patients’ expectation that they receive the best care possible for the best outcome possible.

Members of the Activation Teams are brainstorming ideas related to facilitating patient travel to and from the Ability Labs. We have a team of clinical experts as well as operational experts evaluating multiple scenarios related to patient transport. An example of some of the work to date:

  • Reviewed existing policies and procedures for patient criteria for travel. Declared which patients can travel to an Ability Lab taking into consideration patient’s medical conditions, behavioral conditions, and tolerance.
  • Mapped the specific flow of a patient from his/her Innovation Center to an Ability Lab using floor plans for the new hospital. This will help us answer where the patient stops along the way and where transport starting and stopping points might be.
  • Identified which staff members today have a role in transporting patients to and from existing therapy sessions and appointments of their units.
  • Identified elevator functions and technologies that may promote patient transport processes.

We have more work to do, but the planning processes are well underway. If you have suggestions related to this process, please contact Margie Gauthier via email.

Q: How can patients get their medications or use bathrooms when they have to leave their floor for therapy?
The Activation Teams are currently looking at processes related to this very topic. The team focused on inpatient processes, particularly inpatient nursing, are currently discussing patient care processes for when the patient is on their floor as well as when they are in an Ability Lab. Decisions are still being made, but this team knows it will not be efficient for nursing staff to follow/find a patient on another floor.

Q: Can you provide some detail on what types of diagnoses fall under each center of innovation?
See some different examples below for each innovation center:

Brain: The top level Brain Innovation Center, floor 25, is a center designed for patients with traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury including stroke regardless of the etiology, who require a less stimulating environment as well as closer monitoring.

The Brain Innovation Centers floors 23-24 are centers designed for patients with traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries, regardless of etiology.

Spinal Cord Injury: The Spinal Cord Innovation Centers, floors 22-21, are centers designed for patients with traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries, regardless of etiology.

Nerve, Muscle, Bone: The Nerve, Muscle, Bone Innovation Centers, floors 19-20, are centers designed for patients with amputation/limb deficiency, orthopedic conditions, arthritis and joint conditions, general debility, and medically complex patients.

Pediatric: The pediatric Innovation Center, floor 18, is a center specifically designed for the pediatric patient population, regardless of diagnosis.

Cancer: The Cancer Innovation Center is a virtual location and it is expected that cancer patients will be admitted to the Innovation Center that is most appropriate to address their rehabilitation and medical needs.


Technology & Equipment

Q: Will there be any kind of PCT input for equipment such as shower chairs for the new building? Will there be a process for us to review patient care equipment for the new building, much like the process for new staff chairs that took place on the 16th floor a few weeks back?

A: There was a team from inpatient nursing, including the patient safe handling committee, who were appointed to review equipment needs.  The members of this group were from each of our patient care units to ensure all floors had representation. The group made recommendations on what features and functions were needed for equipment based on the needs of our staff and patients. The next step in this process is for the equipment vendors to propose equipment based on the team’s recommendation. Once the vendor proposals are received this group with then reconvene to review and evaluate the suggested equipment.  There will be opportunities for staff, who are the primary users of the equipment, to provide feedback.  We will be sure to include PCTs in this process.



Q: Will the offsite clinics remaining be remodeled to mirror clinic color schemes and offering as the main hospital when under the new name “Abilitylab?”
A: Over time it is our intent to update the off-site locations so all locations have a similar look and feel. The naming conventions for the off-sites and the Alliances has not yet been determined.

Q: Will there still be a fitness center accessible to employees and patients?
Yes, the Fitness center at 541 N Fairbanks will still be available to RIC employees and patients as it is today.

Q: Will staff have a chance to get furniture or equipment that will not be moving to the new building?
A: As we get closer to our move there will be an entire plan around decommissioning the building. Decommissing is a standard practice which includes the develop of specific plans for RIC assets; equipment, furniture and fixtures that will not move into the new facility.