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