Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , January 18, 2012

The gossip mills have gone into overdrive since celebrity power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their daughter Blue Ivy into the world this month at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.

Much of the hype is standard fare among celebrity births—discussing the child’s unique name, guessing when photos will be released, and debating which weight-loss company the mother will sign with to lose the extra pregnancy pounds. But in Blue Ivy's case, the media is also focusing on the allegedly lavish hospital suite in which she was born.

Of course, the media has also been reporting on the tight security measures that may have been enacted in the Lenox Hill maternity ward while Beyoncé was there. There were rumors that other parents weren't allowed to see their babies and that the musicians' personal security guards patrolled the halls, but so far New York state health officials have dismissed the two complaints that were filed, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But some of the more sensational reports, and those that are more interesting to the patient experience-focused marketer, are about Beyoncé "penthouse-style" maternity room. According to the sometimes-reputable TMZ, the hospital room featured "4 flat screen TV's, state of the art electronics, a kitchenette, nice art, mahogany walls,  and plush furnishings." 

Leaked photos of the room show a large, modern-looking space with hardwood flooring, sleek white couches, some artwork, and lots of windows. Nothing about the room stuck me as especially excessive, but it did get me thinking. The public has such low expectations for hospital design and the patient experience that anything above mediocre seems extravagant.


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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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