With more and more patients seeking care away from home, there is an opportunity for the hotel and hospitality industry to offer customized services to patients recovering from surgery and treatments and their companions. Neither a hospital nor a hotel, a surgical hotel is a place designed to provide a level of care below that required in a hospital, but yet accommodates the healing needs of patients in a comfortable environment.
So, what does a surgical hotel offer?
How does a hotel providing services to a postoperative patients and their companions provide value and differentiate themselves?
A surgical hotel, part hospital-part hotel, would offer the following:
1. location convenient to healthcare facilities
2. transportation to facilities/airport/other
3. availability of emergency medical care
5. sensitivity to the needs of specific postop patients; connected rooms.
6. things to do for companions
7. information and communication technology links with providers
8. alternative/complementary services for postop patient
10. privacy/confidentiality in check in and exits
11. disability accommodations in architecture, transportation vehicles
12. medical concierge
13. accommodate in-room stay by nurse or companion
14. availability of equipment to take vital signs by medical professional
15. availability of wound management supplies
16. online medical education and postop care resources
17. nutrition counselor, special dietary restrictions
18. evacuation preferences
19. brand awareness and snob appeal
20. new design for bedding and furniture?
21. allergy free environment
22. medication reminder system (part of automatic wake-up call system?)
23. mini-kitchen facilities
24. real time patient feedback and request system
25. panic button
26. prevention of nosocomial (need a new word for hotel acquired) infections
27. modified housekeeping schedule
28. separate parking a minimal distance to room
29. wheelchair management
31. bathroom amenities (antibacterial soap, hand lotion, etc)
32. antibacterial surfaces on furniture
33. billing and collecting interface with medical insurance ?
34. disposable cell phones for companions
35. pet accommodations?
The global medical travel industry in rapidly growing and expected to reach $1B by 2012. Developers and the hospitality industry have an opportunity to participate and profit by offering differentiated, value added services to patients and their family members and companions that accompany them for care away from home.