ST. LOUIS - A doctor’s visit can be stressful enough without the added frustration of circling a parking garage to find an open spot. Next spring, with the opening of the new Mercy Ballas Center for Multispecialty Care, a high-tech garage also will open, relieving congestion across the Mercy St. Louis campus and making parking easier for patients and visitors.
“It’s no secret that parking at health care facilities in urban areas across the U.S. can be a headache,” said Dr. David Meiners, Mercy Hospital St. Louis president. “Mercy is no different. When our patients come for doctors’ appointments, procedures and surgeries, we want to remove the added stress that often comes with getting into a building.”
A new setup at Mercy Ballas does just that by guiding visitors to the closest available parking spaces. The garage is equipped with an innovative, camera-based system and the latest sensor technology. Bright green and red lights direct patients to open spaces in the garage more quickly, saving time and frustration.
“It’s really smart technology. It even helps if a patient forgets where they park,” Dr. Meiners said. “We’ve all parked somewhere and later forgotten where. And when you’re managing your health, it’s even easier to get distracted and forget where you parked.”
Clear electronic signage in the garage will highlight how many spaces are open on each level in real time. Once someone chooses a floor, directional signs provide guidance and color-coded indicators display red for occupied, green for open and blue for handicapped, which will further ease the process and remove what can feel like endless circling to find a spot.
Besides Mercy Ballas’ smart garage, the technology will be added to existing parking structures on Mercy’s St. Louis campus and across Mercy’s footprint in multiple states. The parking system is one of many new technologies planned for the Mercy Ballas Center for Multispecialty Care to create a better patient experience.
Mercy earned the 2022 Excellence in Patient Experience by NRC Health, which recognizes health systems and hospitals that have demonstrated their commitment to improving patients’ care experiences. Mercy Hospital St. Louis earned a spot on the Top 100 Consumer Loyalty list by NRC Health.
“When our patients come to Mercy, we want their first and last experience on campus – parking – to be as high quality as the care they receive,” said Jason Grellner, executive director of public safety across Mercy.