Saint Charles Hospital’s (SCH) campus is currently 94% developed with little opportunity for expansion of the campus footprint in all directions. A component of SCH’s master facility plan development incorporates a near future (3-5 year) strategy for replacement of the structurally obsolete 900+ vehicle parking ramp structure that connects to both the hospital and a medical professional building on the next block. In recent years, SCH implemented valet and visitor-focused parking and covered patient discharge initiatives within the ramp to accommodate increased growth.
To offset the current shortfall of parking, SCH currently rents approximately 100 parking spaces about a mile away ($36,000 per year) and utilizes a shuttle bus ($120,000 per year) to transport employees to and from the hospital and professional building. Further, hospital employees utilize on-street parking via the neighborhood streets on a daily basis, congesting the area and causing much dissatisfaction by SCH neighbors. The future replacement structure’s design goals will target accommodation of visitor, patient and associate parking and reduction of on-street neighborhood parking by associates.
Due to the current shortfall in parking spaces many visitors are unable to park in the ramp and must use valet to access the hospital’s services. SCH’s valet operation also struggles due to the lack of parking and the valet experience for patients and visitors suffers as a result. This problem has a direct correlation on patient satisfaction scores at the hospital and has been a continuous challenge for administration. While efforts have been made to purchase property in the near vicinity of the hospital to increase surface parking options, all attempts have been blocked by local neighborhood supporters / politicians who do not want their neighborhood turned into a parking lot.
Any ideas for improved patient experience with this situation would be greatly appreciated. The ultimate solution is replacement of the parking ramp structure which is several years away and will bring with it some larger challenges during the transition.