Guest Blogger: Rob Klein

Parking is Healthcare

Parking may not seem like it is related to healthcare; rather more a “retail” mentality. But parking is healthcare. Recently, while conducting focus groups for a hospital that is developing a new outpatient cancer facility, I asked cancer patients about their recent experiences using the existing facility (starting with parking). Apparently, physicians get the best spots on the first level and patients often have to circle up towards the top (and exposed) level.

Not too fun in the rain and snow, as one cancer patient put it. And another added that she wasn’t feeling well after chemo and forgot where she parked her car. Valet is so expensive, she commented. When she got to the parking deck she couldn’t find her car. Luckily a security guard in a golf cart picked her up. It took quite a while riding around every level clicking her electronic door opener on her keys before her car lights came on. She added, all I wanted to do was go home.

Another patient said to me that parking and walking to the facility takes so much time and he wasn’t sure how much of that he had left.

The point is while we may not look at parking as part of hospital quality, patients certainly do. For hospitals to evolve and grow they should take a page from both the retail and banking worlds. Remember when “bankers’ hours” was a negative phrase? Bankers’ hours no longer exist because banks finally embraced a more retail service model.

Parking can be a hassle when you’re healthy; just imagine looking for your car right after chemotherapy.

Rob Klein is president of Klein & Partners, a marketing research firm dedicated to keeping your brand healthy. Rob can be reached at 630.455.1773 or Learn more

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