Last week, the account team visited our client Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Part of our visit included a tour of the hospital. Building cold sterile hospitals is a thing of the past. Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is a fine example of a hospital following the trend to offer patients and their families a healing environment.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the building was all the natural light. The circular information desk is in the center of a rotunda with skylights overhead. Hallways were very wide, so there was a feeling of openness. Floor to ceiling windows were on most outer walls. Light poured in from other skylights as well.
One thing that’s bugged me when I’ve had family in the hospital is the waiting area. They felt crowded, uncomfortable and not very private. At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, there were some large areas for visitors, but there were also cushioned benches and small, intimate seating areas for visitors everywhere. A patio seating area outside was being used by staff and visitors who were taking advantage of the beautiful weather.
The arts program plays a huge part of the patient experience at DHMC. It not only serves patients directly through one-on-one programs, but the arts are accessible to everyone all over the hospital. Right outside the Cancer Center, a pianist was playing. Dance companies and singing groups often participate as well. Hanging art and sculptures were everywhere I turned. Mosaics, paintings, paper art, etchings, drawings. There were a few I would have liked to take home. The hospital has both a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions. Artwork is switched out periodically to keep things fresh.
The setting is a unique part of what makes Dartmouth-Hitchcock great. What an uplifting environment for patients and families.