What do hotels and hospitals have in common? How we can learn from the hotel industry to take better care of patients

Corinna Zygourakis, John Rolston, James Treadway, Susan Chang, Michel Kliot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Despite widely divergent public perceptions and goals, hotels and hospitals share many core characteristics. Both serve demanding and increasingly well-informed clienteles, both employ a large hierarchy of workers with varying levels of responsibility, and both have payments that are increasingly tied to customer/patient evaluations. In the hotel industry, decades of management experience and market research have led to widespread improvements and innovations that improve customer satisfaction. But there has been incredibly little cross-fertilization between the hotel and hospital industries. In this paper, we first consider the changes in the healthcare system that are forcing hospitals to become more concerned with patient satisfaction. We discuss the similarities and differences between the hotel and hospital industries, and then outline several of the unique challenges that neurosurgeons face in taking care of patients and increasing their comfort. We cite specific lessons from the hotel industry that can be applied to patients′ preadmission, check-in, hospital stay, discharge planning, and poststay experiences. We believe that hospitals can and should leverage the successful advances within the hotel industry to improve patient satisfaction, without having to repeat identical research or market experimentation. We hope this will lead to rapid improvements in patient experiences and overall wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S49-S53
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospital
  • hotel
  • patient satisfaction
  • quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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