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Hospitals strive to be more congenial

The News Journal of Wilmington / Associated Press, March 26, 2012

Improved aesthetics, upgraded amenities and increased community outreach are among the ways hospitals are trying to develop relationships with consumers. The goal is attracting new patients while keeping existing ones—all part of a changing healthcare landscape where patients, paying an increasing amount of their own medical costs, no longer rely solely on a doctor's recommendations when it comes to picking a hospital. In Delaware, where there's less direct competition among hospitals, the emphasis is on anticipating and meeting patient needs, whether it's more flexible visiting hours or soliciting input from patient-focused advisory councils about what they'd like to see.