Friday, March 23, 2012

Parking availability for patients and visitors a top priority


PATIENTS AND VISITORS coming into the MGH have a lot on their minds. They may be preparing for surgery, nervous about their doctor’s appointment or concerned about a family or friend’s recovery. One thing that shouldn’t be of concern is finding parking to get to their appointment in a timely, convenient way. Although there are the three main campus MGH parking garages – Fruit Street, Parkman Street and Yawkey – on many days finding an open parking space is a challenge.

“On evenings and weekends we have encountered a number of off-duty employees parking in the front garages,” says Joe Crowley, senior manager of Police, Security and Outside Services. “We would like our off-duty employees to be aware that if they park in the garages, they are placing a greater burden on our patients and patient visitors.”

On average, every space in the front garages turns over about three times per day, which means that for every space abused, three patients or visitors are unable to park. “If an employee or a member of the general public parks in our garages to go shopping, attend a show or go to dinner, he or she may think it’s not a big deal because it’s only one space,” Crowley says. “But when the incoming patients or visitors can’t find a parking space, that’s a significant problem detracting from our mission.”

Crowley stressed that during the day from Monday to Friday, front garages are reserved for patients and patient visitors only. Employee parking is provided only for on-duty overnight and weekend shift employees who sign up for parking privileges.

“We have experienced a high demand on parking resources since late fall, including weekends. To address this we have placed screeners on the garages to try and redirect public parkers and are conducting a more thorough patient validation process,” says Teague Dyer, parking operations manager. “The parking garage cashier staff, who are MGH employees, ask each driver for his or her name or the name of the patient visited. The staff uses this information to verify parking eligibility. All staff abide by HIPAA privacy and confidentiality rules.”

For more information, call the Employee Parking Office at 617-726-8886.

Read more articles from the 3/23/12 Hotline issue.


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