A Healing Environment

At MeritCare, we understand people need more than medical expertise to aid in recovery; patients also need a calming, non-threatening environment to help them feel safe and secure where they can be surrounded by family and friends.

We have created a warm, welcoming healing environment that promotes and supports the needs of the whole person — mind, body and spirit. Our facility allows us to go beyond expert care to provide heartfelt hospitality with kindness and respect.

It’s an enlightened approach to providing medical care based on research into healing. Studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between the mind and healing of the body; that the proper environment enhances patient, family and caregiver experiences.

At the core of MeritCare is the latest in healing design, from color and texture to sound-absorbing material, from natural light inside to the Healing Garden outside. Beyond the physical amenities, we’ve adopted additional practices that increase privacy for our patients and their families and give them more control over their healing. Overall, we enhance compassionate and respectful care.

Powers of Healing

The Powers of Healing There is a power in the ability to heal, but there are also powers that enable healing. Along with our tradition of providing the power of touch and spirituality, our renovation blends the powers of light, nature, peacefulness, family and friends, art and music to create a healing environment. The next several sections highlight these powers.

Healing Power of Light

Light can either help or hinder healing. When we’re recovering, we don’t want to feel like we’re in the spotlight, but at the same time, light can lift our spirits. At MeritCare, we’ve incorporated healing lighting into the design of our facility whenever possible, from indirect lighting in hallways to additional windows and skylights in our lower-level corridor to get more natural light into the heart of our downtown campus.

Healing Power of Nature, Color and Textures

When we view elements of nature, we’re more calm, peaceful and ready to heal. MeritCare’s facility features warm, soft colors with splashes of brighter natural colors and softcurved designs. Many different textures have been added in elements throughout the facility. Natural wood accents are around patient doorways and in room amenities such as shelving. The outdoor Healing Garden along with plants in the main lobby and throughout the facility provide a place to refresh and find peace.

Healing Power of Peacefulness

Plenty of rest. It’s so important for healing. At MeritCare, we’re doing everything in our power to make our facility, practices and processes quiet and calming. For example, special flooring in rooms and hallways helps absorb noise, and we’ve selected carts and other equipment that cause as little distraction as possible.
Loss of control over our lives can be frightening. At MeritCare, we’ve made improvements that allow patients and their families to retain as much control over their environment as possible. This means we try to put ourselves on patients’ schedules rather than doing what’s best for us. For example, we’ll let you decide when you want to take your shower or bath, or when you are comfortable having visitors. We offer room service so you can choose what you’re going to eat and when. In addition, when the renovation is complete every patient room will provide individual control over light and heat, and every room will have its own bathroom. These are all changes to give you more control over your environment.

Healing Power of Family and Friendship

There are times when the best remedy in the world is simply a quiet conversation with a trusted friend or a hug from a family member. Friends and family are vital elements in healing and our facility makes it easier for them to be near you throughout your stay. Patient rooms are equipped to allow someone to stay overnight in your room. Family rooms and lobbies are spacious, inviting and comfortable. Other areas, such as a coffee bar, a large lobby, a family area with a fireplace, and the Consumer Health and Business Center also make your stay with us more comfortable.

Healing Power of Art & Music

Leonardo da Vinci once said we should “realize that everything connects to everything else.” At MeritCare, we’re connecting the science of medical care to the healing powers of art and music. Original paintings and photographs by local artists grace the lobby walls, their sculptures welcome patients and visitors at our main entrance and their murals accompany you on your walk through the lower-level tunnel. Artistic interpretations of the heart of healing by MeritCare Heart Center employees fill shadow boxes displayed near the Day Unit. And a grand piano played by local musicians, music students, as well as patients, family members and staff will fill the lobby with the healing power of music.

More Than a Building

Benefits of the MeritCare healing environment:

Improved parking
Easier access to the entire facility through a common hospital and clinic entrance
Better-equipped, private hospital rooms and more flexible clinic spaces for more effectively meeting patient and family needs
Improved workflow and more efficient service that also prepares MeritCare to provide future technological advancements in health care
More patients are able to spend their stay in one room due to the expansion and colocation of different yet related units. This also improves our ability to deliver exceptional customer service
More fully-integrated patient education through access to updated teaching spaces and technologies

Reduced anxiety and confusion
Improved communication
Stronger feelings of safety and caring
More informed decision making
Increased confidence
Higher overall satisfaction

Shorter patient stays
Lower infection rates
Less pain medication
Lower blood pressure
Improved success rates