Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center adds $7 million expansion to emergency department

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Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center held a ribbon cutting for the expansion of the hospital’s new emergency department on Thursday. The new addition aims to help address mental health and geriatric health needs. “It will be filled almost immediately. We can have between six and 10 residents in this emergency room with behavioral health needs at any one time,” said Joanne Conroy, CEO and President of Dartmouth Health. The $7 million facility took 16 months to build during the pandemic. It will add 11 beds and decontamination areas to better respond to high-risk infections and mental health crises. “So what this facility really represents is an increased ability to care for these patients,” said Susan Reeves, executive vice president of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The hospital tried to expand its emergency department into the footprint it already had, but had to expand beyond that. “It was not sufficient or appropriate for a long-term solution for these patients,” Conroy said. expect the number of behavioral health patients to decline, we believe it will only increase. Each room has windows, which will be unique to this part of the emergency department. looking outside and not feeling so confined is part of our everyday mental health,” Reeves said. Doctors and nurses will also have a safe place behind glass to screen those entering the emergency room. Bed is not a big concern despite past issues.

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center held a ribbon cutting for the expansion of the hospital’s new emergency department on Thursday. The new addition aims to help address mental health and geriatric health needs.

“It will be filled almost immediately. We can have between six and 10 residents in this emergency room with behavioral health needs at any one time,” said Joanne Conroy, CEO and President of Dartmouth Health.

It took 16 months to build the $7 million facility during the pandemic. It will add 11 beds and decontamination areas to better respond to high-risk infections and mental health crises.

“So what this facility really represents is an increased ability to care for these patients,” said Susan Reeves, executive vice president of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

The hospital tried to expand its emergency department into the footprint it already had, but had to expand beyond that.

“It was not sufficient or appropriate for a long-term solution for these patients,” Conroy said. “We don’t expect the number of behavioral health patients to decrease, we believe it will only increase.”

Each room is equipped with windows, which will be unique to that part of the emergency department.

“The ability to have natural light, the ability to look outside and not feel so confined is part of our everyday mental health,” Reeves said.

Doctors and nurses will also have a safe place behind glass to screen those entering the emergency room.

Fortunately, Reeves said staffing the new facility wasn’t a big concern despite past issues.

“We are experiencing staffing shortages in key areas…but [we] are really in pretty good shape when it comes to our psychiatric resources for our doctors,” Reeves said.

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