What Patients, both current and new, really want when they come to a Doctor’s office is to feel welcome, seen, comfortable, and understood.
By Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief, Host, The DocPreneur Leadership Podcast
From the Patient’s side of the exam room, hospitality in healthcare seems like a misnomer.
As any good Physician knows, the key to growth as a medical office, practice or a business is getting first-time patients to want to come back. Any good manager of a retail storefront, hotel, restaurant, or an concert also knows, the key to getting guests [eg. customers] to come back is not actually the food, the hotel rooms or the dress they just bought; it’s how the customer feel when they’re right there in the moment.
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Healthcare is a customer-facing business.
If it bothers a few healthcare archetypes that some of us out here are trying to do something about the patient experience and our reference to the patient as a customer causes you to cross your arms and criticize this grammatical error … then you’re probably not going to want to continue reading what others who’ve also studied ‘hospitality in healthcare’ will say below. But, we hope you will continue to read on and maybe reflect on their thoughts.
Healthcare is about hospitality and hospitality is guided by a leaders who understands that subtle details matter. So no matter how much effort and time we all spend in the exam room, the board room or with your patients –what patients really want when they come to your office is to feel welcome, seen, comfortable, and understood.
It starts with hospitality. And hospitality starts with with Doctors.
Hospitality within concierge medicine offices is on display every moment of every day. Because this topic is so important, we’ve put together a few stories we hope will galvanize and clarify the importance of hospitality and what you may be able to implement inside your practice. Enjoy and thank you for making hospitality in healthcare a priority!
An excerpt from the (above) article … To truly reform the healthcare system, practices must bring concierge-level care to every patient, not just those who can pay extra to get the “Ritz” treatment in their medical care, Horst Schulze, former chief operating officer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, writes in a piece for Medical Economics. But usually there a big difference between checking in at the doctor’s office and checking in to one of the Ritz’s luxury hotels.
“If you went to your favorite restaurant with your spouse and waited 34-minutes to be seated and then waited another 17 minutes for the waiter/waitress to bring you your menus … and […]
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“Patients have raised the bar for their medical experiences,” said Xia. “Physicians and healthcare institutions that attune themselves to those needs and successfully blend hospitality and healthcare will remove barriers to growing their practice and find themselves in great demand.”
The tidiness and quietness of rooms also had much bigger impacts on satisfaction than death rates or medical quality.
Citation: Cristobal Young, Xinxiang Chen, Patients as Consumers in the Market for Medicine: The Halo Effect of Hospitality, Social Forces, Volume 99, Issue 2, December 2020, Pages 504–531, https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soaa007