Another installment of the crisis manager’s favorite refrain, “What were they thinking?”
Lenox Hill, no stranger to celebrity patients, apparently closed off a whole wing for the famous couple and their in-demand offspring — full name of Blue Ivy Carter. Security — a hospital spokeswoman told the Times they were under hospital control — was tight.
What happened? Other patients were a bit miffed at the preferential treatment — real or imagined. Other parents complained they were prevented from seeing their newborns or their spouses. This was, in short, a mess. And, worse, it was self-inflicted.
Lenox Hill didn’t need another celebrity patient. And it probably should not have closed off a wing for one couple. If you’ve tried getting into a hospital now that HIPAA rules apply, you’d know that one semi-awake rent-a-cop could have easily kept the paparazzi at bay and maintained the singers’ privacy.
Lenox Hill, which already had a reputation as the far side of snooty, reinforced its place in the Upper East Side pantheon. Maybe other luminaries will want wings closed off for them.
Someone at the hospital decided to either offer the new parents unprecedented security and privacy, or they demanded it and the hospital said we bow to your wishes. Neither are mistakes in and of themselves. But when security became obnoxious and other paying patients felt slighted, the hospital had a mini-crisis — especially when the city’s two tabloids sniffed the new diapers.
It was even reported that a group of pregnant women seeking to attend a breast-feeding class threatened to sue. Clearly a group you don’t want to alienate.
Think these things through, people, and always consider perceptions, not only facts.