Joint research platform with hotel schools aims to get more hospitality in hospitals

30 March, 2021
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Five Dutch hotel schools have started a collaborative research platform about hospitality in hospitals. Hotel schools are regularly approached by hospitals for their know-how in hospitality, especially when it comes to improving patient or employee experience, on- and offboarding, nutritional concepts, or signposting.

Hospitals and hotels are very alike in terms of non-medical services. But whilst guests feel welcome in hotels, patients often feel lost in hospitals. Sitting in waiting areas for a long time without distraction or (good) coffee is never nice. If you are already unwell, these experiences are especially unpleasant.

Dr Angelique Lombarts, lecturer of Hospitality, Happiness and Care at Hotelschool The Hague says, “Both patients and their environment are becoming increasingly demanding. Added to this is that patients are often 'returning guests' or 'loyal customers' because they are chronically ill and need structural (medical) support. The patient experience isn’t just about medical services. The non-medical services are also a part of their experience and should therefore be optimised.”

There is currently limited but convincing research to prove that hospitality positively influences patients’ well-being and speedy recovery. At the same time, the research into patient experiences in healthcare is fragmented and predominantly locally focused. This collaboration with five Dutch hotel schools and the rollout of a national platform should bring about change to this.

National platform
The purpose of the platform is twofold. Researchers at the hotel schools will use their hospitality knowledge to improve the guest journeys (of patients, visitors, employees, etc.) in hospitals. The second goal is to organise learning and development at the interface of these fields, both for hotel school or facility management students and for nursing and health care students.

Next on the agenda is a handbook. 

About the author

Research Centre

In 2010 Hotelschool The Hague has founded a university-wide Research Centre. This centre encourages interdisciplinary research with a strong practice-oriented focus, and (inter)national collaborative dimensions. The Research Centre of the hotel school is anticipated to become a major driver of the integration of programmed research, innovations in industry practice, and the educational programme.

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