Concierge service enhances hospital experience for patients, families at Abrazo West Campus in GoodyearOct 13, 2017
GOODYEAR (Oct. 13, 2017) -- Abrazo Community Health Network’s Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear has enhanced its medical care with personal concierge services for patients and their families.
At the Abrazo West Campus, patients are treated patients are treated specially, to help them feel more comfortable and welcomed when they visit and their special needs are met.
This is especially important at Abrazo West Campus because the hospital has a Level 1 Trauma center that serves patients in the West Valley and other points westward who’ve been hurt in car crashes, or who have experienced other health emergencies in transit, need extra help because they are far from the resources of home or family.
Having a volunteer who cheerfully offers aid – cell phone chargers or personal items such as reading glasses, denture cream or contact lens solution – means instant relief. The concierge closet is stocked with comfortable clean shorts, slacks and shirts that are available to replace clothes damaged, bloodied or dirtied until personal possessions are accessible. All items purchased by the Concierge Desk are through Partners for Health, a non-profit group that helps Abrazo West Campus patients.
But according to the concierge program’s founder, the specialized service goes far beyond those basics. Dawn Gielau, director of Service Excellence and Volunteer Engagement at Abrazo West Campus, says her volunteers find creative solutions to do whatever they can to brighten patient experience with that unique thing an individual patient or family member may need.
“We find ways to make things happen,” Gielau said. “We create the experiences people want. No request is too big or too small.”
It may be something relatively simple, she said, such as providing information about local restaurants, shopping or hotels for family members. It may be office assistance such as help contacting insurers or printing boarding passes. Concierge volunteers deliver magazines, coloring books and crayons, or family photos they’ve received from relatives so patients can focus on happier moments while they are healing.
“I can’t say enough good things about the concierge program,” says Desiree Creekmore, RN, who works as a charge nurse in the Abrazo West Campus Intensive Care Unit. “Whenever our patients or their family members have special needs, the concierge volunteers are there to help.”
Concierge volunteers go the extra mile to fulfill more complicated requests, such as the one they received from a woman in Chicago whose dad just wanted great quality coffee like the brew he got back home.
“You wouldn’t believe his smile,” said concierge volunteer Julie Ash. “He knew his daughter was behind it when we brought him his special brand.’’
Having a friendly conversation can go a long way to make visitors and patients more comfortable, said concierge volunteer Jerry Drake.
“When I escort visitors to visit someone in the ICU, I ask them questions about where they came from and who they are visiting. Talking to them helps to relieve their anxiety,’’ he said.
Creekmore praised the concierge program for helping one of her ICU patients who wasn’t doing well.
“As I was talking to the patient, trying to find a way to make her feel better, she said she wanted to have a party, and she mentioned her favorite ice cream.
“I called the concierge desk and said ‘I have a job for you.’ It was the coolest thing – they jumped into action, took a trip to the nearest grocery store and came back with the patient’s favorite gourmet ice cream, and their supervisor showed up with balloons.
“We had a party right there in the room for the patient and her daughter,” Creekmore said. “The patient was so happy; her face was so sweet. I will never forget that moment.”