Patients who have been discharged from an inpatient unit can relax in the new Brigham Health Hospitality Lounge while they wait for their ride to arrive.
Located inside the Patient Access Center at 75 Francis St., the Hospitality Lounge opened on Nov. 1. Designed to enhance the patient experience, it offers comfortable seating, warming blankets, beverages and snacks, puzzles, Wi-Fi, phone-charging stations, a TV and more. The lounge is open on weekdays and staffed by Brigham nurses. In addition to assisting discharged patients, the lounge is expected to help improve patient flow throughout the hospital by freeing up beds for patients awaiting admission.
Sheila Harris, executive director of Patient Access and Clinical Services, said the team involved in opening the lounge has been hard at work educating patients and staff about the space and its benefits.
“The space has been carefully designed to meet the needs of our patients who have been discharged but are waiting for a ride,” Harris said. “The opening of the space aligns with Brigham Health’s mission to provide timely access and deliver an exceptional patient and family experience.”
In the past, the Brigham used a “discharge lounge” on an as-needed basis, particularly when the hospital experienced a high patient census.
The Hospitality Lounge is open to patients who meet specific criteria at the time of their discharge to ensure a safe transition. Patients need to be alert, oriented and able to walk with minimal assistance. In addition, eligible patients include those without behavioral health conditions, pain management concerns or the need for precautionary measures, such as wearing a surgical mask, to help prevent the spread of infections, diseases and germs.
The team is currently piloting rounding on inpatient floors and speaking with patients who have been identified by their nurses as candidates for the lounge. If a patient chooses to wait for their ride in the lounge, a staff member from the Patient Access Center will escort them there.
Staff working in the lounge are also available to help patients in need of arranging transportation. Another perk for patients waiting in the lounge is that their ride may pull up to the main entrance instead of parking. A staff member from the lounge will then escort the patient outside.
Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services, and Charles Morris, MD, MPH, associate chief medical officer, were involved in the planning efforts for the Hospitality Lounge. They agreed it is a terrific resource for patients, their families and the Brigham.
“The lounge helps us provide timelier care to patients who are waiting for the next available open bed on our busy inpatient units,” Morris said. “By offering a safe, comfortable environment for discharged patients who are otherwise ready to go and simply waiting for a ride, we can prepare a bed more quickly for the next person who needs it.”
Maria Murray, MM, BSN, RN, nurse director for Patient Access Services, noted the space was designed based on feedback from staff nurses on inpatient units.
“Opening the Hospitality Lounge has been a fantastic experience, as we’ve had the privilege to work with multiple departments to make the opening of the lounge a reality,” Murray said. “We are eager to receive real-time feedback from staff, patients and their families about how we can enhance the lounge and make it even better.”