Swedish Covenant Hospital

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Swedish Covenant Hospital
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
Hospital type Non-profit Independent Hospital
Affiliated university North Park University, Midwestern University
Beds 323 licensed beds
Founded 1886

Swedish Covenant Hospital is a comprehensive health care facility providing health and wellness services in Chicago, Illinois. As an academic and community hospital, Swedish Covenant Hospital offers a full range of medical programs, including cancer, cardiac, surgical, women's health and emergency services. Swedish Covenant Hospital is one of the few independent, nonprofit hospitals in Chicago.[1] The hospital is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.[2]

In 2004, Swedish Covenant Hospital became Chicago’s only member of the Planetree Alliance, an organization that develops and implements guidelines for patient-centered care. The hospital maintained its membership until 2009, making it the longest running affiliate in Illinois.[3] Of 5,000 Planetree-affiliated US hospitals, only 125 have committed fully to the Planetree philosophy of treating the whole patient—body, mind and spirit.[4]

In 2009, Forbes Magazine recognized Swedish Covenant Hospital in its list of “America’s Safest Hospitals.” According to Forbes, Swedish Covenant Hospital was designated as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence by HealthGrades.[5] In the same year, Swedish Covenant Hospital was also listed on the Best Hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report.[6]

NBC 5 Chicago deemed Swedish Covenant Hospital as a “hospital of the 21st century” in regard to their implementation of electronic medical records over the last 20 years.[7] Due to this implementation, Swedish Covenant Hospital has demonstrated a yearly reduction of ER wait time since 2006.[7]

In 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Swedish Covenant that garnered national attention after the Associated Press reported on the lawsuit. The suit alleges that the hospital failed to meet its mission by not providing adequate free and reduced cost care to two low-income uninsured patients.[8]

In March 2014 Swedish Covenant Hospital became affiliated with the St. George's University of London for clinical rotations.

Basic Information[edit]

  • 323 licensed beds[1]
  • 2,200 full-time staff[1]
  • 550 physicians[1]
  • 250 volunteers[1]
  • 16,162 admissions[1]
  • 2,915 obstetrical services[1]
  • 46,145 emergency treatments[1]
  • 14,012 surgical procedures[1]
  • 260,730 outpatient visits[1]


In the 1880s, the Swedish Evangelical Covenant Church Mission Friends saw immigrants in need of care, and the group selected the hospital's present-day site at Foster and California in Chicago to help. The hospital opened its doors to patients on April 1, 1886. Original records of the Home of Mercy describe a hospital with 12 iron beds, two wooden wash stands, a bookcase, sofa, swing, and a table with six chairs.[9]

The increased activity at the Home of Mercy led to an instant demand for larger and better facilities. The hospital continued to expand with the construction of Delano Hall in 1903. From 1903 to today, the hospital underwent multiple transformations and expansions in response to the needs of the community.[10]

The most significant change during the first 15 years of the Home came in 1899 with the decision to begin a program of nurses’ training. By 1923, fifty doctors had joined the staff, a complete system of medical records had been initiated, and recognition had been given by the American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons.[10] Swedish Covenant Hospital continues to grow under the auspices of the Evangelical Covenant Church to provide health and wellness services to the communities of Chicago's North and Northwest sides.[9]


Electronic Medical Records (EMR)[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital began its implementation of electronic medical records in 1991 to improve patient safety and quality.[11] By March 2009, the hospital was one of only 35 hospitals in the United States to achieve stage 6 electronic medical record (EMR) adoption using Meditech for online physician documentation as part of the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) rollout.[12][13] According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics, this means that the hospital is nearly 100 percent paperless and has implemented advanced clinical applications that improve patient safety and delivery outcomes.[14] In April 2009, Swedish Covenant Hospital was recognized on BusinessWeek’s list of “Most wired hospitals: Paperless healthcare facilities.”[15]

da Vinci Surgical System[edit]

In 2009, Swedish Covenant Hospital acquired the third generation da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical System’s EndoWrist© instruments are designed to be able to mimic the movements of the surgeon’s hands and wrists, giving natural hand-eye coordination and excellent flexibility and control when operating.[16] Nine physicians at Swedish Covenant Hospital are trained to use the da Vinci Si.[17]

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber[edit]

In 2002, Swedish Covenant Hospital completed its hyperbaric oxygen chambers to help wounds heal seven days faster than the national average.[18] The 100 percent pure oxygen encourages better circulation and faster healing so that diabetic patients, for example, have a 96 percent healing rate, with an average healing time of 31.5 days at Swedish Covenant Hospital.[19]

Emergency services[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Emergency Services is a 24-hour department with a board-certified team of emergency medical specialists caring for patients with medical emergencies. Patients with minor injuries can go through the efficient “fast track” program. Children with special urgent care needs can be seen by one of the pediatric emergency specialists affiliated with Children's Memorial Hospital on the medical staff at Swedish Covenant Hospital.[20]

Yelda Family Emergency Services[edit]

The Yelda Family Emergency Services at Swedish Covenant Hospital was unveiled in 2007 in response to the closure of two neighboring hospitals – Edgewater and Ravenswood – and the patient volume that nearly doubled from 2000. In March 2006, Swedish Covenant Hospital broke ground on an 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) expansion and renovation of the original Emergency Department.[21] Enhancements to the facility include:

  • Visitor lounge, including a gas fireplace and aquarium, designed to relieve stress[21]
  • Private area for family consultations[21]
  • Ten new examination rooms to reduce waiting time[21]
  • Expanded “fast track” exam and triage spaces to speed diagnoses and treatment[22]

In addition, Emergency Services reflects the latest trends in emergency room design and preparedness. Special features include decontamination rooms to treat patients exposed to chemical agents, negative pressure rooms and spaces that incorporate their own independent air handling systems to help contain airborne pathogens such as SARS.[21]

Cancer Services[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital has earned designation as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program with Commendation, awarded to cancer programs that meet and exceed established standards for high-quality cancer care by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.[23]

Radiation therapy[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital offers radiation therapy treatment, using an advanced linear accelerator, for all types of cancers. This technology allows it to use a number of advanced techniques, including electron beam therapy for supplemental tumors and image-guided and intensity-modulated treatments for difficult-to-treat tumors. The intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) adds precision to treat highly sensitive area such as tumors of the brain, head, neck and pelvis.[24][25]

Cardiology and Heart Services[edit]

The Cardiology and Heart Services department of Swedish Covenant Hospital is composed of the Cardiac Care Unit, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and the Chest Pain Center.

In November 2009, Swedish Covenant Hospital received full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

The Cardiac Care Unit at Swedish Covenant Hospital opened as part of an expansion of the Galter Medical Pavilion in 2003. The unit was developed by cardiologists, cardiac nurses and staff in order to centralize, streamline and enhance the quality of care for cardiac patients. The collaboration between attending physicians and the nursing staff results in centralized care to reduce patient transfers between units.[26]

The Cardiac Care Unit’s use of technology includes equipment that enables invasive monitoring capabilities as well as the ability to care for patients with pacemakers and those who require intravenous medications.[26]

Cardiac Catheterization[edit]

The procedures and programs in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory include: Cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and stents, cardiac ablation, pacemaker and ICD implants, pacemaker and defibrillator clinic and electrophysiology program.[27]

As part of the update, high-performance equipment including advanced GE imaging devices were installed to enable cardiac specialists to view images on monitors within the lab to assist them during procedures. These devices not only offer dramatic improvement in image quality, but also enable treatment of a much broader range of patients.[27]

Rehabilitation Services[edit]

Physical Therapy[edit]

The physical therapists at Swedish Covenant Hospital use a hands-on approach to help people with a variety of orthopedic, neurological and soft-tissue disorders to regain strength, mobility and enjoyment of life. The physical therapy team is specially trained to understand the interaction of all the body parts. The program includes Sports Medicine Therapy, Incontinence and Pelvic Pain Program and Vestibular Therapy.[28]

Swedish Covenant Hospital speech-language pathologists treat the full spectrum of cognitive-communicative disorders, as well as swallowing difficulties that can disrupt a person's ability to eat. Swedish Covenant Hospital is the only facility on Chicago's north side to offer Fibroendoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), which uses a sophisticated flexible endoscope to view the swallow mechanism and provides precise information for diagnosis and treatment.[citation needed] Therapy may include modifications to the consistency of food, exercises to improve tongue and lip movement and strength, and patient/family education on safe feeding techniques.[29]

Healthy Back and Spine Program[edit]

On July 1, 2010, the Hospital opened the Chicago Back Institute which is a comprehensive program emphasizing back and spine health and individualized treatment, with surgical intervention as a last alternative. The program incorporates complementary medicine and therapy programs as well as conventional treatment of physical therapy and pain management. It also incorporates the wellness programs at Galter Life Center (see below).[29]

Genomic Medicine Program[edit]

In order to respond to the increasing demand for genetic testing, the Hospital is working with DNA Direct to provide an internet-based program for delivering genetic test interpretation and genetic counseling. Genetic testing has proven beneficial in the fields of oncology, cardiology, obstetrics, pediatrics, and pulmonology.[citation needed]


In 1898, Swedish Covenant Hospital established a hospital-based School of Nursing. In 1968, the program was transitioned to a sister affiliate, North Park University. Many Swedish Covenant Hospital nurses are from North Park University, Loyola University and University of Illinois. At Swedish Covenant Hospital, more than 100 nurses are board certified in Cardiology, Case management, Critical Care, Diabetes, Emergency, Gerontology, Home Care, Infection control, Medical/Surgical, Obstetrics, Oncology, Pain Management, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Physical rehabilitation, Surgery and Wound Care.[30]

Magnet Excellence[edit]

On May 19, 2010, the American Nurses Credentialing Center granted Swedish Covenant Hospital designation as a Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing. Swedish Covenant Hospital is one of 28 hospitals in Illinois to achieve this status.[31]

Swedish Covenant Hospital began its Journey to Magnet Excellence in 2006. It is a program developed and sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to recognize excellence in the delivery of nursing services and providing a method of disseminating successful nursing practices. The Magnet Recognition Program acknowledges quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice.[32]


The science of feeling better[edit]

In 2008, Swedish Covenant Hospital transformed its image and tagline from “Technology Changes, Compassion Does Not” to “The science of feeling better.” Swedish Covenant Hospital describes this tagline as a new kind of science composed of the elements of healing: technology, research, food, light, nature, art, touch and family. Together, these elements lower blood pressure, relax muscles, boost the immune system and foster a sense of well-being. The new school of thought draws on medical, environmental and emotional elements.[33]

Healing Services[edit]


Swedish Covenant Hospital creates a healing environment in which the core components include providing art and architectural stimuli, aromatherapy, horticulture opportunities and music played by volunteer instrumentalists.[34][35]

Complementary Therapies[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital offers patients complementary therapies including massage therapy, horticulture therapy, Laughter Yoga and animal-assisted therapy to relieve stress and discomfort and enhance rehabilitation.[34] Canine Therapy Corps acknowledged Swedish Covenant Hospital for being one of the only hospitals in Planetree that used dogs in a therapeutic manner.[35]


Swedish Covenant Hospital, located in one of the most diverse areas of Chicago, offers ethnic menus. Cuisines include a Korean menu in place for over four years featuring dishes made entirely from scratch at the hospital, Hispanic menu launched in 2006, and an Indian Halal menu.[36] In November 2009, the Chicago Tribune found that Swedish Covenant Hospital was taking enhanced patient menus further by offering only grass fed-beef and non-caged eggs and organic options across the menu in addition to the multi-cultural options.[37]

Healing Garden[edit]

The Healing Garden at Swedish Covenant Hospital was officially opened on August 21, 2008 during the hospital’s annual Donor Night. This garden is complete with walking paths, a fountain, benches, a stream, a labyrinth and landscaping made from environmentally conscious materials from around the world.[38] Modern Healthcare Magazine, recognizing Swedish Covenant Hospital for its Healing Garden in 2008, found research demonstrating that healing gardens provide a natural setting enhancing stress reduction and potential relief from symptoms for patients.[39] In healing gardens, patients are able to feel a sense of control in the environment.

Child Care Center[edit]

The James and Suzanne McCormick Montessori Child Care Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital serves both hospital employees with small children and members of the community. The Montessori discipline focuses on teaching independence, responsibility and self-discipline, as well as encouraging cognitive development at the child's own pace and stressing the uniqueness of each child. The Child Care Center is the only Montessori hospital-based program in the United States. The Child Care Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital offers Montessori infant, toddler and preschool daycare for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old.[40]

Galter LifeCenter[edit]

The Galter LifeCenter, affiliated with Swedish Covenant Hospital and the Evangelical Covenant Church, is a 69,000-square-foot (6,400 m2) medical fitness center on the hospital campus. The Galter LifeCenter offers programs and services for the mind and body, including yoga and Pilates, as well as sports performance training. It is the only fitness center in Chicago to offer seven Body Training Systems programs, which are licensed programs that require the instructors teaching these programs to have additional certifications. Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation, physical therapy and pain management programs are located at the LifeCenter. The integration of wellness-based and medical services makes Galter LifeCenter a medical-based fitness center.[41]



Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "2009 Swedish Covenant Hospital Fact Sheet" (PDF). Swedish Covenant Hospital. May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Acute Care Hospitals". Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program. 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Hitzeman, Harry (September 3, 2007), "Hospitals see "warm and fuzzy" treatment for patients, families as a better path to healing", Daily Herald (Chicago)  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  4. ^ "Key Accomplishments". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  5. ^ Whelan, David (January 27, 2009), "America's Safest Hospitals", Forbes (United States)  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  6. ^ Comarow, Avery (July 15, 2009), "America's Best Hospitals", US News & World Report (United States)  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  7. ^ a b Lutz, Bj (18 June 2009), "Hospitals of the Future: Paperless, Efficient", NBC (United States) 
  8. ^ "Uninsured patients sue Chicago nonprofit hospital". Washington Examiner. 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "History of Swedish Covenant Hospital". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  10. ^ a b Olsson, Karl (1961). Quality of Mercy. 
  11. ^ "Reporters Witness Stage 6 Success during Swedish Covenant Hospital's Health I.T. Tour". Meditech. April 16, 2009. 
  12. ^ Hocevar, Robin (July 2, 2009), "Chicago hospital achieves stage VI EMR adoption.", Advance for Nurses  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  13. ^ "Swedish Covenant Hospital Achieves Stage 6 with High Rates of Physician I.T. Adoption". Meditech. March 13, 2009. 
  14. ^ "HIMSS: 0.5% of U.S. hospitals are models for EMR implementation". Health Imaging. March 3, 2009. 
  15. ^ King, Rachael (April 7, 2009), "Paperless Health-Care Facilities", Business Week  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  16. ^ Intuitive Technology. "The da Vinci Surgical System". 
  17. ^ SCH Test Drives New Surgical Technology, Swedish Covenant Hospital Employee News Website, November 2, 2009
  18. ^ "Clinical Hyperbaric Facilities, Current and Completed Major Projects". Reimers Systems. 2006. 
  19. ^ The Science of Recovery. Chicago: Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2009. 
  20. ^ "Emergency Services". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "Swedish Covenant Celebrates Expanded Emergency Center". The Evangelical Covenant Church. March 16, 2007. 
  22. ^ "ER Grand Opening". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2007. 
  23. ^ "Community Comprehensive Cancer Program Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2007. 
  24. ^ "Cancer Services". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  25. ^ The Science of Precision. Chicago: Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2009. 
  26. ^ a b "Cardiac Care Unit". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  27. ^ a b "Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  28. ^ "About Physical Therapy Program". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  29. ^ a b "Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  30. ^ "Nursing Awards and Recognition". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  31. ^ "Find a Magnet Facility". American Nurses Credentialing Center. 
  32. ^ "Journey to Magnet Excellence". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  33. ^ "The "science of feeling better" campaign". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  34. ^ a b Advancing a Healing Environment. Chicago: Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  35. ^ a b "About Canine Therapy Corps, Swedish Covenant Hospital". Canine Therapy Corps. 
  36. ^ PR Newswire (November 28, 2006), "Chicago Hospital Goes Organic With Patient Menus", Red Orbit  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  37. ^ Aguilar, Alexa (November 4, 2009), "Hospital food gets intensive care, healthy update", Chicago Tribune (Chicago)  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  38. ^ "The Art and Science of Healing", Chicagoland M.D. News (Chicago) (October/November 2008), November 2008: 13 
  39. ^ Lauer, Charles (October 27, 2008), "Growing Evidence, studies show the therapeutic value of healing gardens", Modern Healthcare (Chicago) 
  40. ^ "Child Care". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  41. ^ "About the LifeCenter". Galter LifeCenter. 
  42. ^ Duke, Brad (2004). "1. An Ordiniary Upbringing". Harrison Ford: the films. McFarland. p. 5. ISBN 9780786420162. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 



External links[edit]