Quality Patient Care or Hotel-Like Hospitals? You DecideHave we really reached a point in healthcare where in-room massage is on the speed dial with 24-hour a day room service? Does offering spa-like features and hotel-like amenities change the bottom line- that there are not enough nurses staffed in most hospitals, at any given time, to deliver safe patient care? Have medical centers become so focused on increasing patient satisfaction scores by offering a resort-like experience that they’ll sacrifice quality healthcare in the process?

Luxury Over Security

Clearly, quality nutrition is important to healing. As nurses, we have discarded countless thousands of trays from patient rooms, uneaten and cold. A well-timed, hot, nutritious meal can do wonders for the spirit and the body. Nurses don’t dispute that. But we’ve also removed countless items from meal trays that should never have been delivered to a patient with dietary restrictions! Will on-demand meal service be any different?

Who doesn’t love a good massage? They are relaxing, invigorating and a luxury many can’t afford. I wonder why many hospitals, now instituting such practices for patients, are not instead offering them to overworked, exhausted nurses? You can bet, on any given shift, the nurse doesn’t have the staff to relieve her to enjoy a nutritious meal during break, if she gets a break at all. And no one deserves a massage more!

Apparently, in the midst of the ongoing nursing shortage, low patient satisfaction scores, higher than acceptable rates for nosocomial infections and complications, many hospitals have decided to convert to medical tourism.

Overboard?

In the news: One Level II Trauma Center in Las Vegas is currently converting its hospital to an award-winning luxury resort and casino. Read more details here.

Care to do a little gambling before your procedure? Nothing like losing your mortgage payment while you’re recovering from illness! The cards weren’t in your favor? No worries, we’ll send a masseuse to your room, on the house.

I make it sound so superficial and shallow, don’t I? Well… isn’t it? Hospitals appear to be pandering to satisfaction scores and monogrammed towels rather than focusing on some very serious issues: safe staffing, quality healthcare, improved outcomes.

As nurses, how many of us can relate to not being able to deliver adequate care, timely medications and required assessments because the patient is off the floor for a procedure or a scan? Shall we not interrupt the massage in progress for meds? Will we have to wait for the patient indulging in concierge treatments to actually perform our duties as nurses?

A patient in an article regarding the Las Vegas Medical Center Resort was quoted as saying: “I can’t wait to get hospitalized next year!”

I THOUGHT THE GOAL WAS IMPROVED PATIENT OUTCOMES, DECREASED HOSPITAL STAYS?

It isn’t?! My mistake. My goal is to take responsibility and be accountable for my own good health. Whenever necessary to be hospitalized, I expect to be taken care of by serious, competent, well-rested, adequately staffed professionals who care about my healing and recovery- not about whether I desire Swedish or Deep Tissue!

I find it hard to believe or agree that these types of initiatives are driving healthcare in the right direction, in the moral direction. It’s shamefully obvious the direction healthcare is headed in offers a great many dollar signs in the bottom line. Florence Nightingale would never believe where we are now. But hey, she’d be awfully glad to win the jackpot of the night before or after her triple bypass, right?!

Ok, maybe the unnamed hospital mentioned above isn't actually adding a Casino. But it would appear that's where we are headed in healthcare.