From my past experience in the healthcare sector, I strongly believe hospitals will need to provide something more than medical services for improved outcomes and patient satisfaction. In comes HOSPOTEL that take a holistic approach to patient well-being with proper amalgamation of hospitality and wellness services. The future hospitals or HOSPOTELS are likely to implement more cross-sectoral services borrowing from hotels and wellness resorts that will significantly impact the patient’s journey to healing.
Hotels and hospitals have many core features in common where the former focus more on guest experience and the latter on treatment outcomes. Of Wellness practices and treatments are getting integrated into medical programs for better outcomes.
If hotels can offer great guest experience with the best hospitality practices, why not the hospitals? This is the core essence of HOSPOTEL that is set to bring a dramatic change in the entire medical treatment ambience and service modalities.
Changing mindsets and expectations will drive HOSPOTELS
Great ambience and amenities can make patients feel better and help them to get well soon. Just as in hotels, patients expect to be treated as guests not as sick individuals. They do need special care and support but that should be offered in a different platter.
In the hospital, a patient goes through an emotional roller-coaster that can impact his/her treatment and recovery. I have keenly observed, hospitals addressing the patient’s expectations with more emphasis on care, comfort, and convenience factors have experienced better outcomes in all respects.
Assessing patients’ demands and expectations is not easy, but more or less, the following aspects could serve as the baseline.
- Give the residential feel. It is not just the comforting feeling, but the ambience eases stress and anxieties greatly from the patient’s mind. This is a more effective approach than the hospital’s intimidating ambience and the cold mechanical approach of hospital staff.
- Seamless services. Waiting for hours is the last thing that patients want. Hospitals need to put proper systems in place for seamless registration, appointment scheduling, consultation, diagnostics, treatment, and disengagement from the facility.
- More informal communication with a genuine feeling of care.
- Facility with wellness vibes, giving the feel that nothing can go wrong.
- Keeping touch with touchless services. Touchless services have evolved for the patient’s benefits but that should not snatch away the warm non-tactile gestures and actions.
- Comforting facilities that help in reducing pain and suffering while healing may take some time. It could be comforting resting space, physical support, or any other facility.
- More comfort and convenience for those accompanying the patients. They could be friends or family members.
- Enhanced gratification in F&B services.
- Improved convenience with end-to-end seamless tech support through apps and connected platforms in pre- and post-hospital stays.
Seamless integration of wellness and hospitality – key HOSPOTEL concept
Key features are likely to be as follows:
Taking out the fear and apprehension
Creating a relaxing and tension-free ambience is the first thing HOSPOTELS will focus on. No intimidating treatment rooms, consultation chambers, or testing labs. So would be the verbal communication, gestures, and body language of all staff including physicians, nurses, attendants, and receptionists that will generate assurance not fear.
Good pre-admission experience
Prior to admission, a patient has to go through stressful diagnostic tests and assessments. HOSPOTELs will provide valuable information about the patient’s health status, upcoming admission, treatment procedures, attending physicians, and other arrangements tailor-made to meet his/her specific needs. The aim is to minimize dread and set realistic expectations among patients.
Wellness design and architecture
A fresh, warm, and cosy feeling with aesthetically pleasing biophilic features will make up the core of the HOSPOTEL design. It could be like including a pool, walking track, prayer and meditation centre, healing garden, green open spaces for relaxation, prayer halls, fitness centre, or even a small wellness spa. Patients and their companions should get enough comfortable space during their visits. Eateries, waiting places, and lobbies will have unique designs with added comfortable features instead of usually-observed crowded spaces.
I have seen how great in-room services can make a patient feel at home. The patient can divert his/her attention to engaging and mind-stimulating activities without moving from the bed. A welcome distraction to release anxieties. It could be like bedside infotainment, easy access to wi-fi, cable connections, music, and last but not the least, convenient parking facilities.The elderly and children will need special arrangements
It is not the patients who should feel calm and relaxed, but also the family members accompanying them. They may not be the direct clients but could play a great role in healthcare decision-making especially in hospital selection. Words of mouth from friends and family members help in reputation building.
HOSPOTELS can accommodate a library, entertainment spaces, kid’s spaces, an extra guest bed, infotainment facilities to make accompanying visitors feel at ease during their visits or stay in the facility.
Stress and anxiety management programs
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Integrating guided mind-body programs into medical treatments provides the much-desired mental and emotional support to patients. HOSPOTELS can be exemplary in this. Animal-assisted therapeutic programs can be beneficial as well.
Special services will make a big difference
I feel, Hospotels can curate mind-body engaging indoor and outdoor activities or alternative therapies under professional supervision to facilitate healing and recuperation.
Integrative medicine has already made its place in different clinical settings. Inclusion of guided nature walk, breathwork, meditation, yoga, and other wellness programs will be quite common. Special therapies and programs for rehabilitation and recuperation will evolve dramatically.
Genuine empathetic communication
Humane and empathetic communication matter in boosting patient’s mental well-being. It starts from receptionists, attending physicians to all staff interacting directly or indirectly with the patients. When patients wait with bated breath counting minutes in apprehension, warm and comforting communication can provide great mental support to face the challenge. They will generously give higher ratings for good communication and empathy.
Integrated wellness catering
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Hospital food need not be bland or tasteless since it is meant for patients. On the contrary, they will be served happiness with customized food plans created by recognized chefs. Special wellness menu with lots of variations can offer a great eating experience even when the patient is under several dietary restrictions. Dining spaces are more likely to give the feeling of a decent restaurant rather than a cramped cafeteria.
In my opinion, patients deserve a hassle-free time-saving discharge procedure. When they are eager to go home, spending hours on discharge is punishing. Caregivers should be prompt in handing out follow-up schedules and post-treatment care programs. Post-discharge phone calls to check on the patient’s condition can boost patient satisfaction significantly.
Caregivers need to don many hats
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There is a need for specially-trained caregivers who can don several roles of a nurse, physiotherapist, medical aid, or counsellor as and when required. When you think of uplifting hospitality standards, caregivers should play a crucial role. All kinds of services should be at the patient’s beck and call 24X7 with no room for grievance and complaints.
Monitoring patient satisfaction and collecting feedback
HOSPOTELS should regularly monitor patient satisfaction levels and their feedback. To maintain a high occupancy rate, HOSPOTELS should regularly work on minor lapses and shortfalls based on the given feedback. Internet literacy is growing among patients who will check reviews, and feedback before making a choice.
Finally, Hospotels will have to create the right working ambience and culture to foster a great connection between the hospital staff and patients to enhance performance and reputation.