In the Luumlight

5 Things to Consider: when developing your hospital commuter mobility plan

The data alone is astounding. Our healthcare sector is projected to add more jobs than any other occupational group between 2018-2028 – growing by 14 percent and adding 1.9 million new jobs. This is in part because of a growing population, especially in cities, but also due in part to a growing demand for healthcare services as baby boomer’s age. What’s more, a lack of patient access via available parking can have a negative impact on the patient experience and on-time appointments. And access is especially critical for elderly patients. Fret not boomers, we got your back. 

A few things strike me about this startling growth. This will translate to high demand (in the form of a competitive job market) for doctors and nurses as well as a need for increased clinical space at hospitals. For urban or semi-urban hospitals—where building more hospital space is essential to serving a population on the rise—real estate is at a premium while existing infrastructure constricts growth. 

No longer can hospitals offer one parking space for each staff member, patient, and visitor. It’s simply cost-prohibitive to add capacity to meet increasing parking demand. What hospitals need is a transportation demand management (TDM) plan that reprioritizes sustainable mobility and access to the hospital through commuter benefit programs. With the right TDM strategies, hospitals can reduce parking demand by making driving alone less attractive and incentivizing alternative modes – all while still being a desirable place to work.    

If your hospital is seeking more innovative ways to put patients first, needs to increase clinical space, attract and retain employees, and be model stewards of your community—then, please, read on and consider this post your first steps to discovering a new mobility future:

1. Hospital parking supply can’t be a 1:1

Adding parking supply in a 1:1 employee to parking space ratio is no longer viable. It is not sustainable – financially or environmentally – and growing this ratio in a healthy direction will only serve to strengthen any hospital growth plans. 

2. Staff parking management is key

To reduce parking demand, hospitals need to first know where they’re starting. Parking management solutions for hospitals track staff parking data – time, location, peak demand – and can administer daily parking charges. Charging for parking at a daily rate is proven to greatly reduce parking demand.

3. Promote flexibility & incentivize sustainable modes 

Most hospitals want to offer their employees flexible, sustainable modes of transportation alongside parking charges – and this philosophy is ideal because a combination of incentives and disincentives is shown to drastically decrease parking demand while also providing long-term health benefits and increasing overall job satisfaction among employees.

4. Long-term financial sustainability of your hospital 

There are two things hospitals can’t do – build parking in a 1:1 supply (see #1) and offer free parking to patients and staff. Make fiscally responsible decisions for your hospital transportation and parking program for the long-term. Do this by setting some SMART goals that help you get to charging for parking in a timely manner.

5. Be good neighbors 

A part of every hospital’s mission is serving both patients and their communities. Do your part to alleviate environmental impact and congestion in your neighborhood – the community will thank you for it. And, quite frankly, there’s no better PR story than a hospital whose making measurable efforts to improve the environment and lives of people in the community.

Interested in learning more about Luum and its commuter management software for hospitals?