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Patient Experience

As Sanford Health began to develop plans for the Thief River Falls Medical Center, one of the main priorities was to ensure our patients received the best experience possible. The facility was designed completely with the patients in mind. From the wall colors to the amount of natural light to the flooring, it was all chosen while considering the patient and the community of Thief River Falls.


Throughout the entire medical center, we wanted to incorporate nature. We elected to use colors and themes that reflect the beautiful rivers, fields and forests of the local landscape of northern Minnesota. When it comes to the healing process, studies have shown that colors matter. The calming blue and relaxing green colors used were studied to make sure they gave patients a feeling of comfort and ease and hopefully contribute to a faster healing and recovery for patients.

The flooring installed also reflects the needs of our patients. The tiles are grouted closer together than a typical building in order to eliminate shaking when wheelchairs are rolled across them. The pattern in the tile and carpet were also designed to remind patients of a flowing river.

The lighting was installed to promote a sense of calm. The hallways are illuminated to resemble a hotel rather than a hospital. This gives the inpatient wing a more comfortable feel, especially at night when the florescent lights are dimmed or even turned off.

Patients also receive a better experience when they can receive care in a quick and efficient manner. The Swisslog® system allows for samples to be taken very close to clinical exam rooms and then transported to the lab through the built-in tubing system. This alleviates a considerable amount of patient wait time.