The hospital where I work is putting its best foot forward in an effort to attract new “customers” to our doors. Gee, in the old days we use to call them patients. Oh well, the times are a changing. Too bad Conrad Hilton, the paternal great-grandfather to the infamous Paris Hilton, isn’t our CEO. He knew how to turn a buck while making his customers happy.

Our CEO is such a clever guy. He hired an expensive consulting firm that told him to add some patient friendly niceties to our hospital. “If you build it (or buy it), the customers will come,” said the consultant, and being an obedient fellow, our CEO went to work. Our hospital is beginning to resemble a Conrad Hilton Hotel. It’s bigger and prettier than ever before, and we now have wireless Internet access for our patients’ use. New patient rooms are equipped with flat-screen televisions, and there are plans to start up a valet service and a gourmet coffee bar in the lobby within the next few months. This sounds wonderful, but when I go to the hospital, I want good patient care, don’t you? To pay for the niceties, our CEO became a grinch. Remember Christmas? He is making nurses work harder with less staff, and patient satisfaction is declining. Patients stop noticing the wonderful flat-screen televisions when they have to wait a long time before a nurse is available to put them on a bedpan. I think most people would gladly trade in luxuries in exchange for good nursing care, but because our goal is to become more like a four star hotel, perhaps we can keep the luxuries and just hire bellhops to do patient care.

Come, be our guest!