Recently, I had a medical procedure at a local hospital. This is a procedure that I have had many times over the years. Fortunately, the results of the procedure were good. I am well, and although the preparation for the exam was difficult, I had a positive experience worth sharing with you. My last procedure was three years ago. My, how the patient experience has changed! I noticed a wonderful example of innovation to better the customer experience.
My first impression from a customer viewpoint was positive. It appears that medical facilities have made an effort to remove parking fees from the patient experience. I noticed, in the news, that the University of Iowa no longer charges a parking fee at the university hospital. This facility also no longer charges.
As an outpatient, I was welcomed at the desk that was perhaps twenty feet from the entrance. No searching for outpatient registration. When registration was complete, one employee from the front desk walked me to the elevator, and we proceeded to the second floor. On the second floor, we were met by a patient services person. She escorted us to the room which would be my headquarters for the procedure.
I noticed every employee I had contact with asked me my name, date of birth, and even middle initial. While we walked the floor, I noticed what appeared to be a silver blanket on each of the beds. The silver blanket looked to be made from fabric similar to that of an astronaut suit. I knew I would be asking, and it would be material for sharing with you.
Intake of my personal information was much the same as before. Those gowns have not changed. For someone willing to innovate, the hospital gown is a perfect opportunity for a creative entrepreneur.
As I found myself getting as comfortable as I could be while waiting for the anesthesiologist and doctor to appear for their usual meet and greet, a staff member asked if I wanted a warm blanket. In hospitals, I do like to be warmer, just a personal preference of mine.
Of course, I said yes. From the wall behind me, there was what appeared to be a hose similar to a dryer vent hose. The staff person hooked the hose up to the silver blanket and pressed a button on the wall.
I instantly felt continued warmth. In previous hospital experiences, blankets were warmed. They felt pretty good, but the warmth was short lived. The continued warm air that was forced under the blanket now kept me toasty warm. The forced air was non-stop. What a neat innovation for the patient! Here is a perfect example of a patient care issue. Someone used a creative approach to help the patient get and stay warm while waiting for the medical staff. Despite the difficulty of the situation (having a medical procedure), here was something that helped this patient with their experience. Kudos to someone for addressing an issue with a most creative approach – innovating to helping keep patients warm.