Traditional healthcare systems must make changes to upgrade the patient experience. If not, they risk losing customers to more luxurious boutique hospitals.
Looking ahead to the trends that will shape the healthcare industry in 2018, Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling made a plea to hospitals to focus on experience. “We are in the consumer service business,” Dowling wrote. He suggested that hospitals create “a more retail-focused experience.” If not, patients will opt for boutique hospitals with personalized attention and luxury amenities.
Hospital systems like Florida Hospital, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, are disrupting the old model. By investing in boutique hospitals that emphasize specialty services, they are offering patients an upscale experience option. For instance, at Winter Park Memorial, in the luxurious maternity ward, a new mom can “relax on her high-thread-count sheets, order an in-room massage or freshen up with the high-end bath products provided.”
So what is a boutique hospital?
Perhaps best described as “an ultra high-tech hotel,” boutique hospitals are “smaller, more intimate, more relaxed and less crowded.”
What amenities do boutique hospitals provide?
For a premium fee, boutique hospitals provide specialty services, expedited treatment, and individualized attention. Amenities include:
- Valet service
- Hotel-style lobbies
- Spacious rooms designed with Feng Shui elements
- Wellness facilities
- Massage and acupuncture services
- Spa amenities, including organic hospital robes and high-quality healthcare towels
- 5-star cuisine
- Pet therapy
- Enhanced security
- Serene outdoor environments
What’s the secret?
Boutique hospitals are no novel idea, but patient satisfaction is on trend now more than ever. The secret behind the boutique is its design: It’s meant to feel like a hotel. Also, patients have several upgrades and a la carte services available to them at all times.
Can you put a price on high thread counts and resort style bathrobes? Apparently you can. And, apparently, many patients are willing to pay it.