FIVE-STAR experience in a Luxury Hospital?

  1. recently i came across an article in nursing spectrum magazine called
    "nurses help create a five-star experience"
    http://community.nursingspectrum.com....cfm?aid=22697

    in summary: for paying extra $350-450/day out of pocket, patient can be upgraded to a decorated room with plasma tv, internet, special menu with choices of filet magnon, bass and duck; receive plush robe instead of a gown.

    "the service upgrades begin at the door with a warm greeting by the concierge, who offers to accommodate a patient's every need-from scheduling a massage to arranging transportation for a family member to visit an historic philadelphia attraction. "

    what are your thoughts on having hospitals with special units providing hotel-like services?
    few parts of this article left me feeling angry. for example :
    "the principles of service excellence offered build upon deeply rooted nursing values. more than 100 years ago, florence nightingale emphasized that nurses must diligently pay attention to the caregiving environment. nightingale stated that the art of "nursing ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet." this principle should not be applied to rich people only! sounds like "you get what you pay for".
    i can't disagree more with this article. i don't think hospitals should have luxury floors.
    what do you think about this. are you for or against 5-star luxury units?
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  2. 61 Comments

  3. by   catlady
    From what you quoted, it sounds like the writer was trying to stretch to justify this on a nursing basis. Nothing about fresh air, light, cleanliness, quiet, and a good diet requires a luxury suite.

    I've never worked in a luxury hospital, but I have seen facilities with nice appointments where you wouldn't take a junkyard dog. If they're spending the money on the facade, where's the money for the meat and potatoes, i.e., good doctors and nurses and working equipment?

    I have a feeling they're trying to make up financial losses by providing overpriced fluff. Because you just know that even the rich people have insurers that are underpaying.

    Did you tell Nursing Spectrum what you thought of their article?
  4. by   Lenap
    Quote from catlady
    from what you quoted, it sounds like the writer was trying to stretch to justify this on a nursing basis. nothing about fresh air, light, cleanliness, quiet, and a good diet requires a luxury suite.

    i've never worked in a luxury hospital, but i have seen facilities with nice appointments where you wouldn't take a junkyard dog. if they're spending the money on the facade, where's the money for the meat and potatoes, i.e., good doctors and nurses and working equipment?

    i have a feeling they're trying to make up financial losses by providing overpriced fluff. because you just know that even the rich people have insurers that are underpaying.
    thanks for your input! i cannot agree more with you! i am glad to hear i'm not the only one feeling this way.

    i do also question the honesty of a writer of this article who says
    "the nurse-to-patient ratio is the same as on a general medical-surgical unit, and pavilion patients are not given priority for procedures."

    i must admit while i don't know how well staffed this particular luxury unit is, but i personally know how understaffed med/surd floors are in this particular hospital. i honestly doubt they have 1-2 nurses working this floor caring for these vip patients. (from what i know nurse to patient ratios were 1 nurse :7-10 patients). what would stop the hospital in speeding up an appointment or a surgery for an extra charge?
  5. by   Antikigirl
    I try my heart out trying to tell patient that their stay in a hospital is NOT a hotel experirence, but a very serious stay for medical reasons! I don't like my patients thinking they can just order things room service, sit back, relax, and perhaps take a stroll to the pool!

    They must involve themselves in their care, there is no time for too much relaxation (always something going on in a room!). They must work with other displines like PT which can be quite troublesome to get someone to do if they think they are on vacation!

    No no no! This candy coats the medical part of hospital experience...and what is a hospital anyway...a place you go to when you are medically serious enough to have to be there!!!!! No vacation about it...you must work with the staff and yourself to get better...not lay around idle watching a plasma screen tv and ordering drinks!!!!!

    If you are hospitalized...that is serious time to think about your lifestyle and habbits or medical condition! So hotel service has NO place there...only takes away from the reason you are there!!!!!!

    I am not saying not to make things comfortable and nice...but come on! There is a limit between facilitating wellness and health and a 5-star hotel experience!!!!!!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Aug 28, '06
  6. by   llg
    I take the opposite view and totally support the development of luxury services for those who would like them and can afford to pay for them. Why make the hospital experience more emotionally taumatic than it needs to be? If a few luxuries (that do not take RN's away from their RN duties) help a person feel more comfortable and cared for, so what? As long as it is not hurting the other patients, I have no objection.

    A lot of people (like me, for one) avoid going to doctors, etc. because of the emotional distress we associate with the experience. Lack of privacy, lack of control, having to endure uncomfortable and/or embarrassing procedures, etc. There are also unpleasant sights, sounds, and smells. Also, patients' personal preferences, lifestyle choices, and values are not always respected by the hospital staff. Add the stress of the illness/injury itself and it can make for one nightmare of an experience -- one that people will try to avoid at all costs. That's not good for their health.

    So ... why not respect the patients' preferences if possible? Why not help them feel comfortable and at ease? Why not let their hospital experience be more in line with their chosen lifestyle? Such an environment brings them into the hospital and promotes their comfort, rest, and recovery.

    It's sad the we nurses TALK about respecting people's cultural beliefs and preferences. We TALK about respecting diversity and recognizing that not all of our patients come from backgrounds similar to our. We TALK about accommodating the cultural preferences of our patients.

    .... But as soon as the "different culture" that we are talking about is that of the wealthy, some of us suddenly don't want to provide for the comfort or the emotional needs of those patients. It's a form of discrimination -- similar to other forms of discrimination. Rich people are entitled to have their needs met, too. So, if a hospital can provide what their wealthier patients want and make money on it that can be used to help pay for services for the poor patients -- it's a win/win situation.

    llg
  7. by   HARRN2b
    Can I just "buy" a nurse. I mean lets say I am on a med surg floor after major surgery and I am going to be there lets say 3 days. Can I pay the going rate per hour. Around here 18-20/hour. This person is solely my nurse. If I need meds, he or she is there to get them for me. They look only after me and not 8 or 10 other people. This is going to cost me 240 per day. I do not care about getting steak or plushy robes. I just want to make sure that I get the care I need when I need it! I am far from rich, but I do want to come out of the hospital alive.
  8. by   bookwormom
    i have to agree that having some amenities available would make for a nicer hospital stay. i wouldn't spend hundreds extra a day, but i sure am willing to spend the extra for a private room, and i'd be willing to shell out for an internet hookup. i wouldn't mind having decent food, either. during one of my pregnancies, i was in a hospital that had a a wide selection of terrific meals. it was an absolutely dreadful time in my life for a number of reasons, but i looked forward to my crabcake dinner and soda!
  9. by   catlady
    Quote from HARRN2b
    Can I just "buy" a nurse. I mean lets say I am on a med surg floor after major surgery and I am going to be there lets say 3 days. Can I pay the going rate per hour. Around here 18-20/hour. This person is solely my nurse. If I need meds, he or she is there to get them for me. They look only after me and not 8 or 10 other people. This is going to cost me 240 per day. I do not care about getting steak or plushy robes. I just want to make sure that I get the care I need when I need it! I am far from rich, but I do want to come out of the hospital alive.
    That would be a private duty nurse, and yes, indeed, as long as there's no hospital policy forbidding them, you sure as heck can hire one. I know, because I've been one.
  10. by   catlady
    Quote from llg
    So ... why not respect the patients' preferences if possible? Why not help them feel comfortable and at ease? Why not let their hospital experience be more in line with their chosen lifestyle? Such an environment brings them into the hospital and promotes their comfort, rest, and recovery.
    So, by the same token, if their "chosen lifestyle" is homeless, we should put them in the hallway with a cardboard box and a shopping cart, walk by them as if we don't see them, and have security come roust them in the middle of the night?

    I want all my patients to be comfortable and at ease. I don't necessarily want them to think they came to the hospital for the spa experience, because, as someone above noted, the requirements for getting well and the requirements for getting pampered are not always compatible.
  11. by   RunnerRN
    Hospitals should put their money into making CARE better and safer for patients - not the stay more comfortable. When does it stop? Because if the surroundings are better, I bet eventually the nursing care will be touted as better...and if there is one thing that upsets me, it is insinuations that the rich "deserve" better care than the poor.
    I remember talking to a girl who worked at a certain well known hospital in DC. She said there was a floor for all the "diplomats" and that floor's nurses received more in depth training, had more rigorous testing before being offered the position, and were paid quite a bit more. Is that right?
  12. by   Lenap
    Quote from llg


    So ... why not respect the patients' preferences if possible? Why not help them feel comfortable and at ease? Why not let their hospital experience be more in line with their chosen lifestyle? Such an environment brings them into the hospital and promotes their comfort, rest, and recovery.

    It's sad the we nurses TALK about respecting people's cultural beliefs and preferences. We TALK about respecting diversity and recognizing that not all of our patients come from backgrounds similar to our. We TALK about accommodating the cultural preferences of our patients.

    .... But as soon as the "different culture" that we are talking about is that of the wealthy, some of us suddenly don't want to provide for the comfort or the emotional needs of those patients. It's a form of discrimination -- similar to other forms of discrimination. Rich people are entitled to have their needs met, too. So, if a hospital can provide what their wealthier patients want and make money on it that can be used to help pay for services for the poor patients -- it's a win/win situation.

    llg
    I don't think good care should be at extra cost. For example the hospital I work at has almost all private rooms. Patients can pay for TV w/ cable. I had many patients bring their own laptop computers and use phone line for internet. Many patients bring portable dvd players and watch their own movies. Almost all pts bring and use their cell phones. Everyone is allowed to bring and to wear nice robes (if they don't have any drains, chest tubes...etc).
    We often have patients from different cultures and all their beliefs we respect. Their family can cook and bring them special food (unless pt is NPO). There have been many times that pt. and his/her family would close the door to pray. We would ask the family to let us know they were done. Not a problem. No one interupted them. We would make their stay as comfortable as it is allowed.
    There is no discrimination. Everyone gets the care they need. No extra charge out pt's pocket. Even if they have no health insurance. Having excellent doctors and caring nurses as well as a successful surgery and recovery, what should be important.

    As for rich people..instead of throwing their money on useless fluff/crap, how about donating it to the hospital or some important fund or a cause.



    And if they are well enough to think about eating restaurant food and getting pampered by massages.....maybe it's time to discharge them home.
  13. by   fgoff
    This is not all that new of an idea. Not so long ago the hospital where I used to work had med/surg VIP suite from the 1970's---mid 90's. Private room with full bath, sitting room, large screen TV. Special meals served on carts with table service for family. Oh & china with the hospital logo. All Private and usually the RN asigned only had one other pt.(on med/surg now! not in ICU). Other than the neg pressure rooms these rooms where the only private room in the hospital. The hospital stopped the special services when they merges with another hospital.
  14. by   Altra
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    I try my heart out trying to tell patient that their stay in a hospital is NOT a hotel experirence, but a very serious stay for medical reasons! I don't like my patients thinking they can just order things room service, sit back, relax, and perhaps take a stroll to the pool!

    They must involve themselves in their care, there is no time for too much relaxation (always something going on in a room!). They must work with other displines like PT which can be quite troublesome to get someone to do if they think they are on vacation!

    No no no! This candy coats the medical part of hospital experience...and what is a hospital anyway...a place you go to when you are medically serious enough to have to be there!!!!! No vacation about it...you must work with the staff and yourself to get better...not lay around idle watching a plasma screen tv and ordering drinks!!!!!

    If you are hospitalized...that is serious time to think about your lifestyle and habbits or medical condition! So hotel service has NO place there...only takes away from the reason you are there!!!!!!

    I am not saying not to make things comfortable and nice...but come on! There is a limit between facilitating wellness and health and a 5-star hotel experience!!!!!!
    I have negative feelings about these "extra amenities" for the very reasons TriageRN posted. That they are offered only to patients with the ability to pay is beside the point, in my view ... I simply feel they have no place in professionally-rendered medical care.

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