Lebanon, NH (WCAX) – Construction is underway on the new 200,000-square-foot Hospitalization Pavilion at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Officials say, like other recent expansion projects, it’s designed to help people get the care they need in the right environment.
Dartmouth Health is undergoing a major expansion at its main campus in Lebanon. This he said is a $150 million project that will actually reduce health care costs in the long run, officials say.
Dr. Joanne Conroy, CEO of Dartmouth Health, said:
It has grown to be the country’s most rural academic medical center to meet the needs of its communities. One way is the new 64-room inpatient pavilion that specifically cares for cardiac and vascular patients.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center turns down hundreds of patients every month because they don’t have a room.
“We are currently rejecting 500 high vision implants,” Conroy said.
Another expansion project that was just completed was the facility’s emergency department, with more beds for psychiatric patients. This is a problem officials say has been exacerbated during the pandemic.
“The pandemic has created a real crisis and actually made it more visible,” said Susan Reeves, executive vice president of Dartmouth Health. It’s really impossible.”
As with long-term hospitalization wards, there is also a great need for mental health beds. In New Hampshire alone, there could be dozens of mental health patients waiting in emergency rooms at any given time for beds suitable for the care they need.
“Unfortunately, there aren’t enough services to meet needs, and as a result people often rush to emergency departments seeking urgent treatment for these problems,” said Christie, director of emergency psychiatric services. Dr Ng Phing said:
A new, larger emergency department with areas for group therapy caters to the needs of patients who are likely to be admitted there.
“Our society needs to look at mental health and substance use with the same serious purpose as it looks at other health conditions,” says the psychiatrist. Interim Chair Dr William Torrey said.
Like construction, everything is connected. These projects aim to make hospitals more efficient with more specialized care. Authorities say this is made possible by the ability to move patients to the beds they need, when they need them.
“It’s about getting them out of a very costly environment with good vision and into a place where they can recover quickly. That’s how we really control the cost of treatment,” Conroy said.
Along with the new beds, the pavilion is also expected to create hundreds of new jobs. It is likely to begin accepting patients in the spring of 2023.
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