Patients who receive medical treatment can often feel isolated and vulnerable after their treatment. A New Zealand study has found that small, heartfelt acts that demonstrate care can help patients feel comfortable and at ease pointing to the benefits of hospitality in the healing process.
As with hospitality, healthcare is a service. Paying attention to patients’ needs beyond just the medical includes taking into account matters such as how the patient is feeling, helping them to reframe their perspective on a situation such as a difficult diagnosis and even making house calls, allowing healthcare practitioners to offer a service which incorporates hospitality and healthcare.
In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why the medical profession should embrace hospitality as part of the service they offer their patients.
Better Patient Experience
As the healthcare field becomes increasingly competitive, medical practitioners need to offer a service that meets the high standard of service expected of them. With the ability to compare services and read customer testimonials online these days, patients have greater freedom to choose a healthcare provider.
In an environment such as a hospital, a patient can quickly feel depersonalized, so it is important to add the element of human touch to help them feel comfortable and seen at every stage of their stay.
Both the hospitality industry and the medical field seek to meet their clients’, or patients’, needs. How they do this may differ. However, by bringing these two fields together, patients can receive a more satisfying experience and level of care for their money.
Learning from Hospitality
Often medical staff are unprepared or unequipped to handle questions from concerned family members or to discuss the ramifications of follow-up care or treatment after a medical procedure. This may be due to viewing the patient as simply ‘another case’ as a result of today’s drive to increase the numbers of patients in practices.
By taking a few moments to study their patient’s chart in more detail and discuss the procedure as well as alleviate any concerns their patient or their family may have can help to build trust and a sense of comfort in a patient. Medical staff can themselves become desensitized to their day-to-day environment. Being aware that a patient may be in hospital for the first time, or is concerned about a diagnosis or procedure is key to improving the overall level of service a patient receives.
Encouraging medical professionals to take hospitality courses or to undergo training can help them develop the soft skills and bedside manner they need to deliver a higher level of service and care for their patients.
Benefits to the Healthcare Industry
Like many sectors, hospitals also face competition. Improving a patient’s journey in hospital through greater personalization of service and care, better listening and communication or follow-up care can significantly influence a customer when it comes to choosing their preferred healthcare provider.
Having a greater number of satisfied patients who trust and value the advice and recommendations they receive can also help medical professionals to better carry out their duties. This can result in improvements to patients’ health and ultimately benefit the healthcare sector from an economic as well as a medical perspective.
By improving a patient’s healthcare journey the medical profession can also enhance its main objective of improving a patient’s health.