Interview with Dr Lohyd Terrier (EHL Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior) and Béatrice Schaad (Head of CHUV hospital Communication) about the growing relevance of hospitality in healthcare. A short course on Hospital Reception Management ('Management de l’accueil en milieu hospitalier') was recently given to medical workers from the CHUV Lausanne University Hospital and confirmed the benefits of exchanging transversal hospitality skill sets to other industry sectors.
The professor's overview:
1. 'Hospital Reception Management' - how did this course come about?
Dr Lohyd Terrier: The Hospital Reception Management course is currently dedicated to healthcare professionals. It aims to address the problems encountered by medical staff in the course of their activities. It also responds to a strong demand from the healthcare sector in terms of improving their hospitality welcome skills. Indeed, more than ever, the quality of the hospitality is a determining factor in the experience and satisfaction of the patient.
2. What does the course aim to teach?
The objective of the course is to provide participants with the opportunity to use knowledge and skills from the hospitality industry to improve service in healthcare organizations. In order to do so, participants are led to reflect on the importance of patient knowledge and service adaptation. We also aim to put patient satisfaction and emotional control at the center of the course. More generally, the idea is to teach easy-to-apply hospitality skills to areas ranging from the initial patient welcome and relationship building to managing patient complaints.
3. What role does emotional intelligence play?
As part of the course, various tools related to emotional intelligence are presented. Participants are given the opportunity to reflect on how their emotional skills could help them deal with conflicts encountered in during their work. The medical sector is after all one of high stress and emotional vulnerability for both staff and patient. In fact, healthcare professions are characterized by a very high emotional load that professionals must be able to manage for their well-being as well as that of patients.
4. What makes this short course so special?
Like every training session, the quality of this course is very clearly linked to the quality of the participants. The idea of creating a bridge between hospitality management and healthcare management is ambitious. If the course has been a great success, it is in large part due to the investment of the participants who did not hesitate to question themselves and challenge their habits. The exchanges are rich and varied, and they validate the idea that health and hospitality must collaborate further in order to promote patient well-being.
5. Main takeaways?
Medical institutions need to improve their welcome by:
- Developing the emotional skills of their staff to improve the relationship with patients, their care of patients and the well-being of staff.
- Increasing the value of the information they have about their patients to improve the quality of service.
- Improving communication between different members of the institution to provide more complete and clear care for the patient.
The client's feedback
1. What led you to choose this EHL course on improving the hospital welcome?
Béatrice Schaad: The CHUV has worked closely with EHL on many occasions, from Student Business Projects to other short courses on improving hospitality skills in healthcare. I have always believed in the proximity of the two industries and that there's a lot that we can learn from each other. As with booking a hotel, a patient becomes a customer from the moment they click on our website. Another small but important advantage is that we're situated geographically very close to EHL, so it's a brilliant opportunity to take our staff teams to the school for practical study programs.
2. Did the course meet your expectations?
I was aware of the number of similarities between the two sectors and I got the confirmation that there are many transversal possibilities between methods used in the hotel industry which could be applicable to hospitals. There are a lot of common points regarding the expectations of customers/patients, which in are in fact becoming standard today. This should not come as a big surprise since in Switzerland people are paying increasingly expensive health insurance premiums and want to be treated accordingly to their expenditure.
3. Is there anything in particular that struck you that you weren't expecting?
What I didn't expect was how many skill transfer opportunities there are and how much my teams were happy to be learning in a context outside of their usual one. The course was more practical than theoretical and this was highly appreciated, especially regarding the welcome techniques that weigh heavily on making the patient feel emotionally and psychologically comfortable - and as much as possible, given a voice.
RTS Swiss-French news feature
EHL trains CHUV hospital workers on improving the welcome in healthcare
Recently featured on the Swiss-French RTS news, the short course in Hospital Reception Management is highlighted here as an example of EHL spreading its savoir faire: how to improve the welcome at a hospital reception, increase the patient follow-up process and know the right questions to ask to better patient satisfaction. In brief, how the science of good reception procedures can be taught and learnt.