What providers can learn from the hospitality industry

Patient satisfaction is not just about whether a patient is pleased with the treatment being received; more important is whether the patient really is having a good clinical experience that will translate to improved outcomes.

Hospitals aiming to provide optimal patient satisfaction and outcomes could learn some lessons from the hotel industry, particularly Hilton Hotels, says Nick Van Terheyden, MD, one of the pioneers of modern electronic health records and speech recognition technology, as well as a futurist.

During an education session at HIMSS 17, Terheyden and Nathalie Corredor, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Hilton, will discuss how Hilton gave guests consumer digital engagement tools to increase guest controls over their stays, personalizing their hotel stay, and show how healthcare can help patients personalize their hospital experience.

Consumers using Hilton, like many other hotel brands, can electronically book their stays, but they also can check in ahead of time, view maps of the hotel, examine different types of rooms and select their room, among other features.

Hilton guests can customize their room for their comfort, such as changing presets on the television. Diabetic patients can have a room with appropriate snacks and a sugar drink or glucose tablets in case they are needed. Guests can electronically ask when booking a room for certain fitness equipment to be the room.

The idea at Hilton is to have the guest be as welcomed as possible, and Terheyden and Corredor will ask the HIMSS audience, “Why should you go in the hospital and not feel as welcome as possible?”

Contrast that with what happens when a patient walks into a hospital or physician office. The patient gets handed a clipboard, sits down and fills out several pages of information that staff members already have behind the counter, and then waits a long time before being shown to an exam room. Providers, Van Terheyden says, need to consider getting rid of the waiting room and letting patients electronically make appointments and change them, if necessary.

Providers also need to better consider existing tools they may already offer patients, such as mobile apps and patient portals. Unfortunately, many mobile apps aren’t very good, and portals often are poorly implemented.

Van Terheyden, who currently is the chief technology officer at NTT Data Services, says healthcare should learn from hospitality and other industries user-focused designs and tools to support consumer engagement and satisfaction, and both speakers will demonstrate some of the tools. “This is an area of learning that we really haven’t yet adopted,” he adds.

Session 43, titled, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hospital: Hilton Digital Experience,” is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. on February 20 in W320, Chapin Theater.

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