A Five-Star Hospitality Mindset for Service Excellence in Healthcare

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There are many intangibles that make up an excellent patient experience. Often times it starts with the parking lot – like are there actually enough spaces in the garage to park? It seems simple, but it can go a very long way in healthcare service excellence.

This is something we should all be striving to improve in our field

Stepping away from the clinical aspects and the doctor-patient relationship, our guest this week on the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast is author Peter C. Yesawich, PhD. He shares ideas for improving patient experience outside of the clinic, focusing on customer service excellence.

This also includes addressing pain points, such as a lack of transparency regarding the actual costs of patient care, which are crucial steps toward improving service delivery.

Peter is the co-author, alongside Stowe Shoemaker, PhD, of the 2023 book Hospitable Healthcare: Just What the Patient Ordered! You can learn more about the Hospital Healthcare book here.

The waiting room, appointment scheduling, and other x-factors outside of direct patient care are the focal points of Peter’s discussion. He advocates for bringing a 5-star customer service mindset from the hospitality and resort industry into healthcare practices beyond the clinic.

This includes providing patients with stronger customer service in appointment scheduling and ensuring pricing transparency. Peter suggests addressing the lack of pricing transparency, a major concern for patients, by offering upfront estimates like other sectors of the economy.

Creating an exceptional patient experience extends far beyond the confines of the examination room.

As Peter argues in today’s discussion, every patient should be treated equally. However, when you step away from the exam room, providing an excellent experience might require a holistic approach that addresses every aspect of the patient’s journey with empathy, efficiency, and transparency.

This includes numerous factors that the doctor in the exam room cannot control, so it is incumbent upon everyone who works in the healthcare setting to be on the same page.

As healthcare continues to evolve, embracing a customer-centric mindset will be key to delivering care that not only heals the body but also uplifts the spirit.

Dive Deeper on This Topic

Today’s episode reminds us of a conversation we had with Dr. Christine Meyer about “doing the little things right” within the patient experience.

According to Dr. Meyer, that involves creating a welcoming environment, ensuring cleanliness and comfort, improving staff communication, and maintaining a professional online presence with an easy-to-use website and active social media profiles. You can check out that interview on the excellent patient experiences here.

This chat with Peter also reminded us of the podcast “Mystery Shopping the Patient Experience” with our guest, Barbara Khozam CPXP, AS, CSP. This interview also included many important factors outside of how a patient is actually treated in clinic, and you can check it out here.

Final Thoughts

Throughout the conversation Peter emphasizes the importance of differentiating between treating and serving patients. By recognizing this distinction, healthcare providers can enhance the quality of patient care.

By recognizing and appreciating the patronage of patients, healthcare organizations can enhance the patient experience and foster loyalty, similar to what airlines are doing with frequent flier programs.

Peter emphasized the value of acknowledging and rewarding patient loyalty, like practices seen at 5-star resorts and other desirable vacation destinations.

He highlighted the need for healthcare organizations to identify moments of truth in the patient journey and address underlying issues that prove harmful to an excellent patient experience.

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

Meet Peter C. Yesawich, PhD

Peter is the co-author, alongside Stowe Shoemaker, Phd, of the 2023 book, Hospitable Healthcare: Just What the Patient Ordered! You can learn more about that book here:

Connect with Peter C. Yesawich, PhD