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Journal cover: International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Online from: 1989

Subject Area: Tourism and Hospitality

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Hospitality in hospitals?

Document Information:
Title:Hospitality in hospitals?
Author(s):Denver Severt, (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA), Taryn Aiello, (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA), Shannon Elswick, (Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems, Doctor P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando, Florida, USA), Cheryl Cyr, (Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems, Doctor P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Citation:Denver Severt, Taryn Aiello, Shannon Elswick, Cheryl Cyr, (2008) "Hospitality in hospitals?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 Iss: 6, pp.664 - 678
Keywords:Customer services quality, Hospitality services, Hospitals, Patients
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/09596110810892227 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore an organization-wide philosophy of hospitality in a hospital setting.

Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory case study method approach matched the research purpose. First, a hospitality centric philosophy (HCP) was defined from the literature review. Next, a triangulation of unstructured visits, structured visits and key informant interviews is used to further explore a HCP in one organization. After this, the hospitality centric programs (HCPr) supporting the HCP are defined, identified, described and classified.

Findings – A fairly distinct HCP viewed as a method for enhancing service excellence was in place and supported by top management. The hospital aimed to offer hospitality to patients on par with the hospitality experience offered to hotel guests. A department of hospitality services, a service excellence council, a director of service excellence, and an external hospitality advisory board were in place and met regularly. Further, many formalized HCPr had been created for the execution of the HCP.

Practical implications – The researchers believe that an effectively managed HCP can be modified by culture to enhance the service excellence of the patient/guest experience in hospitals and in the hospitality industry. For hospitals, further enhancements can be realized through developing and executing hospitality centric goals aligned with the performance metrics beyond traditional competition boundaries, such as a hospital seeking to deliver a service experience on par with a hotel. For more traditionally defined hospitality businesses, the extreme context of a hospital where the importance of hospitality is magnified due to treating and caring for sick guests offers a different frame of reference for learning. This new frame of reference can lead to more cutting edge ideas for refining and customizing the service design and delivery. For both hospitals and hospitality businesses, putting in place an HCP with the appropriate organizational support through HCPr allows for more precise information and thus improved service outcomes.

Originality/value – An HCP is defined and acknowledged as a distinct organization-wide philosophy for enhancing service excellence that is applicable across industries. An HCP is demystified through investigating hospitality centric goals, identifying organizational support teams that solely consider HCP, and through further specifying examples of HCPr for activating the HCP. Finally, the study suggests hospitality centric service excellence (HCSE) as a higher distinction of service excellence outcome that is more likely to be achieved through a HCP.

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