On October 28, 2009, in Content is King, I wrote regarding a common phenomenon in New York City - how you can't judge a place by its outward appearance. However, great places are not always shabby. Here, as elsewhere, packaging does not always deceive, and sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.
Quality is never easy to assess, especially at a time when marketing and packaging have reached new zeniths. Many consumers are disappointed by expensive but inferior products that are riding on the coattails of company legacy. There are merchants who do strive to keep a consistency between product quality, packaging, imaging, and retail store environments. Apple, with its award winning stores in Manhattan, is a good example.
When I was young, I had a morbid fear of hospitals. They were gloomy, scary places, where impending doom seemed to hang over everything. Information was shrouded in mystery and secrecy, and the prognosis never seemed good. Certainly hospitals are environments that are defined by caring for those with a medical problem, but they do not have to be shrines to hopelessness and malaise.
Hospitals are changing dramatically in technology, facilities and care. Of course, these are not places where everyone is jumping for joy, but they are places where there is much more expertise, knowledge, effective treatment, and hope, and you can feel a difference from the days of old.
Even robotics have entered the world of medicine. At the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, robots are not only used to perform surgery, they are also being used to make visits to patients and allow doctors to monitor them remotely.
NewYork-Presbyterian is a university hospital with two medical centers affiliated with Ivy League universities: Columbia University Medical Center and the Cornell University Weill Medical Center (shown in the photo), which is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the second oldest in the United States and one of the most comprehensive university hospitals in the world, with leading specialists in every field of medicine. It is ranked as 6th best in the country by US News and World Report. Admission to the medical school is one of the most competitive in the world. The acceptance rate is only 100 positions from nearly 6,000 applicants.
In Content is King, I told of a conversation with a physician at Gouverneur Hospital discussing NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he also worked. We agreed that it was like a country club in comparison. The atmosphere goes a long way to creating as positive an environment as can be reasonably expected.
The hospital is a member of The Planetree Alliance, an organization of hospitals in the United States. The nonprofit group, founded in 1978, is oriented to improved patient care. It's great that content is king and even better when the castle is well designed :)