Patient Experience newsletter, Nov. 2018: Guest Services spotlight

Monthly updates from the Office of the Patient Experience

The do’s and don’ts of donations

Learn more

  • Visit to see a list of unacceptable items and a wish list of items that may be donated.
  • FAQs for staff
  • Automated gift line on how to donate: 319-467-8087
  • How to give monetary donations
  • If donations show up on your work unit, call Concierge Services at 319-356-1900 or UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Concierge at 319-678-5500.

Tis the season: Here come the in-kind donations! This is the time of year when gifts start pouring in to Concierge Services: toys, clothes, food, and so much more. We are always appreciative, but sadly, a lot of it we can’t accept.

For the safety, security, and privacy of our patients:

  • All items must be new and should not be gift-wrapped.
  • All items must come from smoke-free, dust-free, and pet-free environments.
  • All fabric items must be made from new materials and in a non-scented new plastic bag for delivery.
  • All pins must be removed from all donations.
  • We cannot accept homemade food items or prepackaged food that has expired.
  • Names of current and former patients cannot be included with gifts.

Donors are asked to complete a donation form, and bring a copy along with their donation.

Donations are accepted at the UI Hospitals & Clinics Main Entrance, or the Level 1 lobby of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital near Concierge Services, on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m.

For health and security reasons, we cannot accept:

  • Handmade toys due to toy regulations for quality and safety
  • Used items
  • Anything latex (no latex balloons)
  • Candy
  • Fleece baby hats
  • Riding toys
  • Violent toys or games or toy weapons
  • Used medical equipment (Iowa Compass)
  • Art (Project Art)
  • Any food that is not prepackaged
  • Oversized stuffed animals
  • Handmade cards

National Patient Transport Week, Nov. 4–10

Guest Services patient escorts recently participated in an inservice training on one of the new Sizewise bariatric beds. Most beds throughout the hospital are being replaced with self-propelled beds, which enable staff to “drive” rather than push the beds. The inservice was valuable to ensure staff leverage the features of the new beds.

Guest Services patient escorts transport hundreds of inpatients to and from units and procedure areas as well as deliver/retrieve beds for repairs and preventive maintenance. Beds that are not fully charged often require two staff members to push the bed and put staff at increased risk of injury.

“To optimally use our staff resources for patient care and keep them safe, please remember to keep beds charged,” says Steve Anderson of Guest Services.

Recent patient comments about patient transport


  • “The staff and the ‘race car’ to transport our child was amazing. What a fun idea that helped ease my child during transportation.”
  • “I always have valet parking and transporters to where I am going and I thank you for that. If that was not available I would not come there.
  • “Used transport services to next appointment in hospital and young man very pleasant.”
  • “The transport was very sweet & waited with me at pharmacy.”
  • “Staff transporting me was caring, respectful of comfort and pain.”
  • “I had wonderful transporters who were personable and experienced. They also gave me tours.”
  • “We asked and was provided with transportation to the elevators and then was provided with transportation to our car in the ramp. Very much appreciated, as walking is hard and far.”
  • “I was transported several times in a w/c. The transporters always were careful, made sure I was comfortable and made pleasant conversation with me.”

 Missed the mark

  • “The young man who transported me out of hospital went way too fast, crazy fast.”
  • “The staff who transported me to the door was distracted by a personal call she wanted to make and left me while she disappeared to make her call. She did not return.”
  • “Transport waited 15–20 min. after test to take me back to room—was left in hall after a test that made feel extremely bad.”
  • “I could use transport chairs in the parking ramp. We had to make it to the skyway before we found one. Then it was missing when we were done with the appt.”
  • “Would be nice to have a transporter take you down from floor. My daughter pushed my w/c with all my things also (and me!).”
  • “Speed of discharge was not good, over 3 hr. wait. Wait time for transportation to our car was approximately 1 1/2 hrs.”
  • “Transport staff was often on phone (didn’t seem to be texting for patient needs, would chuckle and consistently on phone—may have been personal phone and not work phone).”
  • “I had to ask staff for assistance in transporting my daughter by wheelchair. At other hospitals it’s automatically provided.”