So let’s say you take your family out for dinner. You’ve picked a great new restaurant, and the food is delicious, the ambiance is perfect, but the wait staff is a bit rude. Well, no matter how great the food is, what are the chances that you’re going to go back? Probably pretty unlikely – right?
Well, our patients and families choose to seek care at Texas Children’s because they know without a doubt that we provide the best quality of care! We have the best and brightest people in the world taking care of their loved ones. However, once they walk through the doors, patients and families evaluate us based on the quality of the service they receive. A big part of that quality of service begins before they even walk through our doors. For many of our patient families, that experience begins with something that should be relatively simple – convenient parking.
When we design and construct our buildings, we include ample parking for our patient families as well. But lately many of our patient families have been unable to find parking in the garages at our Medical Center Campus. That happens in some part because Texas Children’s employees are occupying spaces that have been designated for patient families or are using the valet services intended for our patient families.
Just two weeks ago, Security turned away 51 employees trying to park in Garage 21. That would have been 51 patient families that would have been frustrated or inconvenienced. This ongoing concern has created an overwhelming burden on our patient families who come to Texas Children’s for their care. A couple of comments from a recent Press Ganey survey:
“Parking is terrible. I almost missed an appointment due to waiting 16 minutes just to get into the parking garage and another 15 to 20 minutes to park, as the garage was full.”
“Parking our vehicle was a nightmare. We spent over an hour trying to get a parking spot.”
As part of Texas Children’s Step Up for Patients First initiative, we encourage our employees to live compassionately and put our patients and their families first. A simple way to do this includes giving families priority access to parking to help ensure they get to their children’s clinical appointments on time.
Using the limited parking reserved for our patient families is counter to the experience we are all committed to providing them. It also disregards Texas Children’s Parking Policy, which prohibits employees from parking in Texas Children’s Hospital garages 12, 16 or 21 or using valet services when you are here for work purposes. To ensure employees understand this policy and the desire of Texas Children’s to put patients and families first, Security will continue to conduct random monitoring and take appropriate steps to correct this practice.
Having free, dedicated employee parking garages (garages 14 and 19) at the Meyer Building and a large, frequently circulating fleet of employee shuttles provides all employees with convenient alternatives to the limited parking on the Medical Center Campus, which is the only option for our patient families and visitors. Coming to the world’s largest medical center and navigating a parking garage, especially with the temporary closures due to our current construction, is difficult enough for families. Let’s do all we can to ease the experience.
We can create a better experience for patient families and visitors by parking in the designated employee garages so that finding parking is the least of their concerns. It’s a simple step that will have a lasting impact on a family’s experience with us.