Hospital leadership perspectives on the contributions of Ronald McDonald Houses. Results from an international survey

J Health Organ Manag. 2015;29(3):381-92. doi: 10.1108/JHOM-09-2013-0194.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe an international survey of hospital executives and administrators' perspectives on the contributions of their affiliation with a Ronald McDonald House (RMH) as an example of accommodation in family-centered care to the hospital's mission, operations and patient experience.

Design/methodology/approach: RMHs worldwide provided the names and e-mail addresses of the people holding key leadership positions in their main hospital partner, who in turn were invited to complete an internet-based survey (530 participants; response rate of 54.5 percent).

Findings: Hospital leaders reported very positive opinions about the contributions of their RMHs affiliation to their ability to serve seriously ill children and their families. This included such important outcomes as increasing family integrity and family participation in care decisions; and decreasing psychosocial stress and hospital social work resource burdens associated with lodging, food, transportation and sibling support. Hospital chief executive offices (CEOs) and medical directors reported very strong and positive opinions regarding the value-added of their RMHs affiliation in many areas, including enhanced marketing of hospital specialty services and reduced length of stay.

Research limitations/implications: Survey response bias is a limitation, although the results are still useful in terms of identifying multiple ways in which RMHs are perceived as contributing to hospitals' operations and provision of family-centered care.

Practical implications: Overall, the results suggest that, internationally, hospital leaders believe that RMHs play a key and valued role in their provision of family-centered care to seriously ill children and their families.

Social implications: Family accommodation is more than the simple provision of lodging and plays an integral role how hospitals approach family-centered care.

Originality/value: This international study contributes to the general literature on the role of family accommodation in hospitals' provision of family-centered care and the specific and very sparse literature on RMHs in particular.

Keywords: Children; Hospital management; Patient-focused care; Surveys.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Nursing*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospital Administrators* / psychology
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires