Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , January 18, 2012

Make modern amenities available

Does your hospital offer patients free Wi-Fi? Do you provide computer kiosks that family may use? If you don't already, it's time to start considering these investments. Patients and their family members expect to be able to stay connected throughout the course of their stay.

The three hospitals I researched, Starbucks, McDonald's, and even some airlines offer free Wi-Fi access. In addition to keeping in touch with work, family, and friends, patients need Internet access to view their electronic medical records.

Beyond Internet access, Children's Hospital Colorado patient rooms also feature flat-screen televisions and video on-demand. It also offers patients a room-service menu featuring healthy meal and snack options for patients and family members.

Lenox Hill Hospital, in addition to free wifi and its flat-screen TVs, provides Bose sound systems in its maternity rooms. It also offers birthing balls, baby photography services, and a "preferred" dining menu.

These more modern entertainment and dining features had no place in the hospitals of yesterday, but now they are becoming expected. If you can't yet invest in flat screens or built-in sound systems, try to help patients get the most out of whatever entertainment you have available. Provide patients and family members with a list of TV channels they can get in their room and have staff instruct them on how to use the remote.

When I was hospitalized as a child one of my nurses brought in her daughter's "Lion King" VHS tape for me to watch, and it is one of the few pleasant memories of my stay. It's the small, simple touches like these that can make a world of difference to a patient.

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2 comments on "Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience"

Betsy Block (1/19/2012 at 11:08 AM)
I am proud to say that Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, just west of Denver,CO has it all. Patients remark, "It feels more like a hotel than a hospital." The luxurious atmosphere of the newly built women's center includes private suites, flat-screen TVs, whirlpool tubs, wifi, a serenity spa for relaxation and massage, and an outdoor patio with mountain views. The patient experience is top-notch as noted by their high patient satisfaction scores and a recent award from a women's watchdog group.

Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (1/18/2012 at 6:33 PM)
Marianne, This article brings up the important balance between the environment including all the amenities you mention and the human experience. As a former OB nurse, I can tell you that even though the amenities and the room are nice touches, the things that patients will remember forever are the human interactions that made them feel cared for, supported and celebrated. I do lots of speaking and one of the things I ask my audiences is if they have had a birthing experience (as a parent) and if so, how many of them remember their nurse. I feel I can safely say that over 90% remember their nurse from a birthing experience. What they remember and talk about even decades later is the nurse who treated them with compassion and respect and who made their families and newborns feel like celebrities. We can't all be Beyonce, but we can make sure that our patients and families get VIP treatment regardless of our ability to install luxuries.




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