The amenities of a high-end hotel, such as a marble bathtub or a butler or maid on call, are the last things you'd expect to see in a hospital room. Nonetheless, some hospitals now offer these and other comforts. For just one night, deluxe private hospital rooms can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket, but the appeal is undeniable.
New research from Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) shows that patients are willing to pay 38% more for a hospital room with the right kind of hotel-quality upgrades.
Historically, the hospitality business has been focused on restaurants or lodging, and motels. Still, hospitals are now adopting a more customer-centric strategy as a result of a greater focus on patient happiness. That was a significant move that focused on both the physical environment and customer service.
In April 2016, the study's abstract was presented at the Fourth Annual Regional Conference of the North East North American Federation of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, which was hosted by BU. The study polled roughly 400 people online, all of whom had spent the previous six months in a hospital.
Participants examined Forty custom-designed renderings of hospital rooms that included a variety of hotel amenities. Suess-Raeisinafchi and co-investigator Makarand Mody, a SHA assistant professor of hospitality marketing, wanted to see which types of amenities patients liked most in hospital rooms, so they tested Eighteen different criteria like interior design, health care service, and food selections.
One of the sample hospital rooms, for instance, might feature a bed with plush linens, a kitchenette in the corner, and a fluffy bathrobe draped over the bathroom door.Another might have a basic bed but a painting on the wall and a member of the health-care staff who has been educated in hospitality service on hand.
For simple identification, all of the amenities were labeled. The individuals were asked to rate how likely they were to choose each hospital room if they were to stay there, and the researchers analyzed the data to discover which features had the most impact.
Interior design is at the number one spot. Participants liked hospital rooms with an updated, modern style, such as a wood-laminate floor or an accent wall. Second, there was hospitality-trained staff, and third, there was technology, such as a high-definition flat-screen TV.
It may not be easy to comprehend how this relates to health care. Of course, the ability of physicians and nurses to provide better health care is always a factor.However, this study adds to a growing body of evidence that hotel-style rooms and hospitality-trained staff can really improve patient outcomes in hospitals.
As per a 2008 literature review by Roger Ulrich, professor of architecture at the Centre forHealthcare Architecture at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and colleagues, design choices such as large, sunny windows, views of nature or gardens, or even art of nature scenes have been shown to reduce patient stress and pain. Patients in sunny rooms reported less discomfort and used 20% less pain medication than patients in darker settings.
Patients are eager to pay for it. Participants were also asked how much extra they would be ready to spend for a room with hotel-like amenities vs. a regular room, according to Suess-Raeisinafchi and Mody. The group was willing to pay 38 percent extra out of pocket on average. While it's impossible to translate this amount into specific out-of-pocket costs due to the complexities of insurance coverage,Boston Magazine reported in 2015 that the direct cost to the patient in the deluxe hospital rooms at Brigham and Women's Shapiro Tower Pavilion is$300–$800 each day.
Less healthy survey respondents, who had spent more time in the hospital and evaluated their own physical and mental health lower than a healthier group, were willing to spend44% more for a hotel-like room, compared to only 31% more for the healthier group.If a patient's family members visit for an extended period of time, a kitchenette with a fridge and coffee maker may be beneficial.
Most of us have had to visit a hospital at some point in our lives. We've had to stare at the dismal, frigid walls and decor, endure the stench of medical concoctions, and wait for the doctor's call. More hospitals are starting to look and operate like hotels, not only in terms of architecture but also in terms of the services they provide. Patient satisfaction has improved, as have patient and family well-being perceptions.
While hospital administrators must consider the cost of some modifications, such as refurbishing rooms to have high-end hotel finishes, others would be easier to adopt on a large scale.
Changing the lighting in hospital rooms, painting the walls, and adding artwork are all cost-effective ways to improve the room's interior design, patient pleasure, and even patients' health. There is a huge potential for hospitality.
It should be investigated how a more welcoming environment can affect patients' physical, mental, psychological, and social well-being. And besides, isn't that what a hospital is for—to help people recover and improve their health?
Many hospitals, according to anecdotal evidence, are investing in patient amenities and publicizing them to potential patients. Hospitals are increasingly providing facilities such as wireless internet access and on-demand video entertainment, and some have added hotel-like features such as room service meals, massage therapy, and lobbies with fireplaces and concierge services.
To direct their hospitality initiatives, several hospitals have even hired executives who previously worked in luxury hotels.
According to the findings of another study, facilities have a positive and significant impact on hospital choice. Surprisingly, the impact of amenities outweighs the impact of clinical excellence.
According to the authors, a one-standard-deviation rise in the amenities measure increases demand by 38%, but a similar increase in the clinical quality measure only increases demand by 13%.
The societal benefits and costs of amenities and clinical quality, as well as the provisioning of each in market equilibrium, are becoming increasingly essential as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pursues 'value-based purchasing.' These are interesting study topics to pursue in the future.