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"Palazzina" and new Oncology: Rizzoli expands

December 1st, 2020

The Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute expands, thanks to 5mln700k€ worth of interventions:: a completely renovated floor (housing all the outpatient clinics of the Oncology Area, the Centre for Rare Diseases, Rheumatology, the pre-admission outpatient clinics and the new ward of Osteoncology, Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas and Innovative Therapies) and a four-story newly constructed building, called "Palazzina", set between the historic headquarters of San Michele in Bosco, the modern hospital building and the hill on which the Institute stands.

"Building such a facility in this environmental context, and opening in a time of Covid-19 emergency was complicated, but today we know it was the right choice: we can proceed with the relocation of numerous services, guaranteeing modern and comfortable spaces to our patients and a more functional organization of care activities to health care personnel", said Anselmo Campagna, Director General, during the Inauguration Day, in the presence of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Councillor for Health Policies, Raffaele Donini, the Rector of the University of Bologna, Francesco Ubertini, and the Mayor of Bologna Virginio Merola.

The aerial view of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute complex with the "Palazzina"

The so-called “Palazzina” consists of 2.500 square metres dedicated to assistance and connected to the hospital by an elevated tunnel: on the ground floor there are a series of technical rooms; on the second floor a medical office wing and other technical rooms; on the upper floors there are a total of 23 new outpatient clinics and their support rooms, such as waiting rooms and guard rooms.

The second floor is dedicated to outpatient activities requiring long hospital stays due to the type of treatment: the Day Services of Rheumatology and Oncology and the pre-admission outpatient clinics.

The Oncology Area follows patients with bone tumors: the Rizzoli is the regional reference center, acknowledged as the best institute in Italy. Its outpatient area is directly connected to the new Oncology ward: 820 square metres, on the second floor of a completely renovated facility, next to the Palazzina.The Oncology Area counts 8 rooms (for a total of 11 beds) - one of which provided with a low microbial load for High Dose Therapy -,  the infusion area for chemotherapy drugs, a kitchen for patients' families, a relax room with gym, play and school area. It represents a suitable environment for the particular vocation of this ward of the Rizzoli Institute, which receives patients from all over Italy, often very young. As it is well known, musculo-skeletal tumours indeed affect mainly children and adolescents, who have to spend here prolonged periods of time for chemotherapy cycles.
Nurses, doctors and School teachers are present in the rooms every day, working together for the best possible environment for young patients.

The Rheumatology ward is also on the second floor of the Palazzina, with its departments for services that do not require hospitalization.
Integrated in the metropolitan Rheumatology Network, and location of the Specialization School of the University of Bologna, the Department of Medicine and Rheumatology, directed by Prof. Riccardo Meliconi, is a second level specialist point: it welcomes patients with complex assistance needs, including treatments with biological drugs. Previously located in the monumental wing of the Institute, it is now equipped with spaces suitable for the management of this type of therapy. It provides more than 4.000 examinations a year, over 3.200 bone densitometries and 750 therapeutic services, including infusions of biological drugs.

The pre-admission outpatient clinics complete the second floor: the area where patients must perform the tests that are preparatory to admission to the hospital.
Transfers to the Palazzina allow to improve the comfort of patients in this phase, considering that the Rizzoli Institute is a surgical hospital with 15.000 operations per year for a total of 20.000 hours of operating room, and to reduce the length of the stay at the Institute needed to perform all the necessary services prior to surgery.

On the third floor there are 13 outpatient clinics, with a waiting room overlooking the historical site of San Michele in Bosco.

An inpatient room in the new oncology ward

The relocation of the Oncology Area first and follow-up examinations to this new environment enables to gather several specialists around the case patient, merging the services of the 3rd Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Oncologic Clinic , of General Surgery and of Oncology. The interdisciplinary approach, unique in the region, and continuous exchange between specialists are a guarantee of the best possible care.

Directed by Luca Sangiorgi, MD, and also located on the third floor of the Palazzina, the Centre for Rare Skeletal Diseases  is a reference point for the Emilia-Romagna Region and the coordinator of the ERN-BOND European network..

It responds to the need of those patients who often have to travel a long way to see their particular care needs met and to obtain a proper diagnosis, checks or treatments thanks specialist visits and instrumental examinations or therapeutic services. The Centre treats over 600 patients from all over Italy and performs an average of 700 genetic tests per year.

"A healthcare system of excellence necessarily requires constant investment. We are talking about investments in research, in facilities and in the personnel who work there on a daily basis", underlined the Regional Governor Stefano Bonaccini and the Councillor for Health Policies Raffaele Donini. “Once again, the Region has confirmed its commitment and has proudly contributed to the realisation of this project, which will further expand the potential of the Rizzoli, a center of excellence acknowledged worldwide and home to truly avant-garde operations and treatments".

"The American magazine Newsweek recently reminded us that the Rizzoli is ranked eleventh in the world, and first in Italy, among best hospitals in orthopedics".

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