(From the Winter 2013 issue of Everything Matters: In Patient Care)
Margaret Noethlich, Welcome Center Coordinator, Payor Relations Department
Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Welcome Center assists out-of-area and international families with concierge services such as travel arrangements, lodging and connections to needed resources in order to make the family’s visit to Nationwide Children’s and Columbus, Ohio as comfortable as possible. This service is available to those patients and their families who are travelling at least two hours outside of central Ohio or who are traveling from another state or from another country. Concierge services include:
Ronald McDonald House Advance Placement
Reservations can be made in advance at the Ronald McDonald House.
Marriott “Sleep Well, Get Well” Program
A resource for families to assist them in finding lodging during their stay at Marriott hotels which offer a special discounted or complimentary rate.
This service assists families in resolving insurance issues and in maximizing coverage prior to the patient’s arrival.
Staff provides the patient and the patient’s family with a list of hospital resources available to them upon arrival.
This service assists patients in finding transportation during their stay including handicap-accessible, concierge transportation, or taxis.
International patients are connected with interpreter services, as well as any needed cultural accommodations, restaurants, places of worship, and local community organizations.
International Charity Program
This service coordinates and gathers patient information for referrals to the Welcome Center for consideration and review of perspective eligible candidates.
The Welcome Center works hard to serve the ever-growing population of traveling patients and families by continuing to expand the services offered. For example, in 2013, the International Program will provide additional support to this population. From experience, the Welcome Center knows that patients and their families often turn to social networks to seek information and support about a health care issue. For example, they may be looking for a physician, have a clinical question or are newly diagnosed with a congenital or chronic condition. The Welcome Center collaborates with the Marketing Department to create an outreach process for potential patients and families using social media resources such as Facebook, Twitter and other online support group forums. The goal is to reach out to patients and their families, who are seeking information, to connect them to the experts at Nationwide Children’s to answer their questions, and to inform them about the services and clinical care available at Nationwide Children’s.
To learn more about the services the Welcome Center provides, or to make a referral, please visit NationwideChildrens.org/Welcome-Center-Services. The office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Welcome Center can be reached at (614) 355-9866 and chose option 1 or 2.