Balancing Amenities and Services in Hospital VIP Rooms

July 9, 2009
While every community may have a different approach to VIP rooms, hospitals are finding that creating plush VIP accommodations can attract patients from a range of demographics looking for special services.
When it comes to VIPs, some hospitals and healthcare institutions opt for special rooms; in fact—taking a page from luxury hotels—many offer VIP suites. While every community may have a different approach to VIP rooms, hospitals are finding that creating plush VIP accommodations can attract patients from a range of demographics looking for special services.
Often located on a separate floor or wing with limited public access for privacy, VIP rooms can run the interior-design gamut, from a few added appointments to Ritz-like amenities. Large rooms or suites with residential-style furnishings, high-end finishes, well-appointed bathrooms, kitchenettes with refrigerators, decorative lighting, and even concierge service are just a few bonuses patients might expect. Many hospitals, in fact, list their room choices on their web sites so patients can reserve in advance. If you have a healthcare client interested in VIP rooms, consider these guidelines:
Community Base Get to know the community culture and patient base. A successful VIP room should reflect community values. Every community—even different neighborhoods within a larger city—have standards for what is appropriate use of healthcare dollars.
For a healthcare provider in the Upper Midwest, for instance, our client asked for upgraded finishes, decorative window treatments, lounge seating, and crown molding to reflect a traditional feel. Throughout the design process, we kept the hospital’s Midwestern roots and sense of aesthetic appropriateness in mind, despite its global renown.
Other features, too, can connect a VIP room to the community, such as regional artwork, visitor brochures, restaurant guides, and room-service with local menu choices. Durability and Luxury Look for products that reflect an upscale aesthetic but are also durable and sustainable. Hospitals, like hotels, have high-volume traffic that can wear easily on surfaces and finishes. These are still hospital rooms, after all, and must be equipped to handle medical emergencies.
Marble and granite, for instance, are beautiful and easily maintained. You can also choose wood floors with clear wear-layer, acrylic impregnated wood floors or custom millwork to add beauty and durability. And resilient fabrics with hospitality-like patterns ensure longevity for higher-end lounge seating, patient chairs and recliners. Family Accommodations Include comfortable accommodations for family members staying over night, such as a separate sleeping area or mini-office space for laptops, business equipment and iPod docking station. A separate media or entertainment area allows family visitors to relax while the patient rests. Privacy Look for ways to create privacy within larger spaces so overnight visitors and the patient have a sense of control over their own environments—and the patient has the necessary privacy when meeting with a doctor or caregiver. Also consider a separate area for an interpreter for foreign-language patients.
Medical Technology Luxury, of course, does not take precedence over healthcare innovations. VIP rooms integrate the latest medical technology and procedures seamlessly with the interior design detailing. Such amenities as designer bed linen, custom comforters and pillows, and softer, layered window treatments assure patients that they are getting quality healthcare in a premium setting.