I broke my ankle in 2000. Or 2001. I can never remember. Regardless. My mom is in the hospital I was in. I was in your garden variety semi-private room, had a morphine pump and IV fluids attached - even on my trips to the bathroom. The menu was put on the tray with your meal and you went through it and checked off your choices and sent it back with your dirty dishes.
Fast forward 9 or 10 years depending, and my mom has a private room, flat screen TV, no IV attached, a huge window with a view that has a parking lot but also a golf course and tree tops across the neighborhood.
The walls are painted a warm brown, the cabinets are cherry (probably laminate but I didn't check that close) and even the necessary tile floor isn't industrial white with speckles.
The bathroom has 2"x2" brown tile, fashionable wall sconces on either side of the mirror and a stylish faucet and knobs. There are framed prints on the walls - even in the bathroom, a shower with pretty earth toned tile with contemporary looking drains.
There is a large drawer under the TV that is accessed by punching in a code (and it's electronic and probably tracked) where all patient medical supplies are kept - meds and syringes and I don't know what else. My mom has a hospital bracelet that has a bar code. Every time someone comes in the room to administer any kind of med they scan the bar code which pulls up her info on the computer in the room. They input the information and when they are done - they scan the bar code again. The hallways are quiet, everything is organized and just flippin' COOL!!
Obviously I am impressed. I didn't realize it but this is a new wing of the hospital that has only been open weeks. WEEKS! So everything is new, the latest and greatest and they thought of everything! Kind of made me think they surveyed patients and staff alike and accommodated everyone. Me too! I was very comfortable. There was a small couch that had a pull out from underneath and the chair that I sat in reclined and had a matching ottoman. I mean - you can tell it's a hospital, there is still one wall covered with plugs and places for every kind of monitor and thing that goes beep. But obviously someone went out of their way to consider the ambiance as part of patient care, as well as making visitors welcome while supplying the staff with everything that makes their jobs easier while being more efficient as well.
Oh, and remember those big dinner carts with tray after tray all stacked on a rack and passed out room to room to room with a lot of clatter and activity? Uh huh. There is a standard menu that has options a patient can choose from depending on their diet. Including personal pizzas with choices of toppings. There are set times (like between 6:30 and 7:30) when dinner is delivered, and the patient calls a number and orders whatever they want. My mom had grape juice. JUST grape juice. I'm sure if she tries to do that for more than one meal she will be encouraged to eat more, but there was no tray delivered with something from each food group, diner coffee cup and silverware/napkin/and salt and pepper packets wrapped in plastic. I'm guessing they throw away a lot less food and patients are happier.
As stressful as hospitals are - this is totally the way to go.
There is something they do there that I imagine other hospitals do but I mention it because I think it is so sweet and makes me smile every time. When you hear a lullaby in the air - it means a baby has just been born. I heard 3 - today. :)
Coolness aside, there is one thing that never seems to change - the socks!