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Dartmouth-Hitchcock extends remote work timeline

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., as seen from the air on Dec. 9, 2017. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Charles Hatcher

Published: 8/18/2020 9:08:30 PM
Modified: 8/18/2020 9:15:36 PM

LEBANON — Dartmouth-Hitchcock is asking roughly 5,000 employees who are working remotely due to COVID-19 to continue doing so through the end of the year, according to a Tuesday email from the Lebanon-based health system’s human resources department.

This extends the timeframe for remote work for these employees beyond Sept. 5, which the health system previously had targeted as a possible end date, according to the email to employees from Brenda Blair, a D-H vice president.

The decision takes into consideration that although case numbers in the region are low, they may rise, Blair wrote. There are just five current cases in Grafton County and six in Sullivan County, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

D-H also factored in the challenges of screening and monitoring in administrative buildings, as well as meeting the demand for parking and shuttle buses.

“We must continue to limit on-site workers to only those who must be on site to perform their role,” Blair said.

In addition, D-H has created a Remote Work Task Force to “determine the future of remote work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health,” Blair said. The task force is slated to complete its work in three phases, including creating policies and procedures for remote work; training leaders to manage remote workers; and sorting out space needs for a return to in-person work.

“There is a lot of work still to do in order to transform the D-H campus into an environment that supports remote work whenever possible, allowing us to best use our space to support the patient experience in more effective and strategic ways,” said Blair.

D-H has some 12,000 full and part-time employees systemwide, including 5,000 in Lebanon.

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