3 ways hospitals can improve hospitality

While some argue that hospitals waste money when they focus on providing patients with hotel-like amenities, there is a benefit to offering patients and families the five-star customer service that consumers now expect: higher patient satisfaction.

Patients want--and demand--personalized service, according to Medical Marketing & Media. And if they don't receive it, they may express their dissatisfaction online before finding a different hospital that will accomodate their needs.

One way to meet these demands is to make sure that all staff--not just clinicians--demonstrate compassion when they interact with patients, according to the article.

The article recommends several ways to improve the patient experience. Here are three of the tips:

  • Educate employees on the importance of the patient experience and how their interactions impact the patient's overall satisfaction
  • Reward staff who embrace and take steps to improve the patient experience
  • Apply the customer service practices from the hospitality industry into your culture

"Peer recommendation in the healthcare industry is three times as influential as it is in the hotel or retail industries," the article states. "It follows that healthcare providers should provide all staff with the skills and resources required to ensure exceptional patient experience."

Meanwhile, one Pennsylvania hospital looking to improve the patient experience recently took a cue from the hospitality industry and opened its own hotel. Williamsport Regional Medical Center's "Hospitality Inn" is connected to the hospital via a walkway to accommodate patients and families. 

Patients and families receive discounted rates and can book one of the five rooms at the hospital, WNEP reports. The rooms feature queen-sized beds, flat-screen televisions and a private bathroom so that families can stay nearby while a patient undergoes treatment.

The upscale rooms are a higher-end alternative to the organization's existing dormitory-style rooms that are available to patients and families at no charge, reports the Sun Gazette.

To learn more:
- read the Medical Marketing & Media piece
- here's the WNEP article
- check out the Sun Gazette article
- here's the hospital's hotel information