Lately, the concept of healthcare has significantly developed; this development was not limited to the upgrade of the concepts and methods of medicine, nor to the adoption of newer methods and techniques, achieving better performance and getting more accurate results. It rather transformed the goal of hospital service that is now similar to a hotel service. This aims to achieve health safety first, then the patient’s well-being while meeting the requirements of some special hospital cases. Hospitalization is no longer a treatment for a specific pain, a wound, or a health condition, however, it is now a broader and more comprehensive concept that allows patients to receive treatment, while being psychologically and morally comfortable. This proved to be fundamental in improving public health and patient satisfaction.
Medicine has dramatically developed over the centuries, starting with an initial diagnosis based on the wisdom of the treating person who was not a physician at the time, as well as traditional treatments in the absence of pharmaceutical industries, scientific laboratories, and others. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, things began to improve, as life expectancy of a wealthy individual was 52 years. In addition, a series of discoveries emerged, namely, Louis Pasteur, who in 1864, proved that germs cause diseases, as well as Robert Koch’s discovery of different types of bacteria, and that malaria is spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
In 1798, the discovery of vaccines began, when Edward Jenner realized that a milkmaid infected with cowpox would not subsequently get smallpox. Cowpox caused a mild infection, and so the first live vaccine was found. In 1847, the discovery of anesthesia was also a milestone, as James Young Simpson discovered the anesthetic properties of chloroform and pioneered its application in surgery and midwifery, which led to a high surgical success rates. Also, the discovery of X-rays in 1895 helped doctors diagnose and determine treatment. By the 1890s, sterile surgeries such as appendectomy were regularly performed, gloves were used, and doctors sanitized their hands prior to surgeries.
In the twentieth century, the average life expectancy of the individual rose to 73 years for men, and 78 years for women. Science and medicine made great strides, including the invention of the first practical electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG) by the Dutch doctor Willem Einthoven, in addition to Karl Landsteiner’s discovery of the four blood groups in 1901. The two scientists, Chain and Florey, discovered penicillin in the 1930s, following in the footsteps of Alexander Fleming. The Human Genome Project was started in the 1990s, with the goal of sequencing and identifying all base pairs in the human genetic instruction set. In 1978, the first test-tube baby was born. Many health and social security laws have also been developed to protect the rights of workers, children, the elderly, the poor, pregnant women, etc.
Recruitment and Hospitality Professionals
This development is accelerating with the expansion of science, the increase in discoveries and the creation of methods that are serving the health and well-being of patients. In fact, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, hospotels began to spread quickly in order to provide the patient with better service, greater well-being and higher level of psychological comfort, after studies proved the importance of a distinguished and luxurious service and its impact on the patient’s health and psychological comfort.
Not only did hospitals adopt design features of hotels to provide patients with spacious rooms, beautiful views, and luxurious reception areas, in addition to a hotel service in terms of room arrangement, patient service and adoption of the appropriate equipment, but also began to implement that even more in human resources. For instance, the medical staff recruitment was limited to doctors, nurses, administrators and workers, but with the expansion of the new concept, it started including specialists in hotel management and hospitality services in order to take over the reception and service operations in specific locations. According to what specialists in this field say, this development is not a mere detail in the hospital service transformation process. It comes to complement the major transformation process on the one hand, and to raise the level of welfare in the hospital service on the other hand. Accordingly, hospitals began requesting this type of specialization and cooperating with hospitality schools just as they deal with nursing institutes. Specialists expect this cooperation to bring about the required shift for hospitals seeking to transform into hospotels.
Over time, the hospital will become a hotel in every sense of the word, welcoming patients as its guests. Studies in more than one region around the world have proven that hospotel patients recover more quickly and are more satisfied than patients in regular hospitals, no matter how well-organized and upscale the services are. Also, the hospitalization cost, which some patients expect to be higher due to the available services and equipment used, is in fact less for the patient when compared to the faster recovery and shorter hospital stay.
Health insurance also has its share
Hospotel services are not limited to good hospitality and decent service, but the insurance coverage also started looking to provide new services for patients in this type of hospital. As these patients are generally well off, they demand the utmost levels of psychological and physical comfort. Hence, insurance companies are examining the provision of insurance coverage and service commensurate with the requirements of this patient category.
Many insurance company managers explain that the goal is to ensure the best service for their customers, in other words, providing them with top-notch healthcare in the most prestigious and comfortable hospitals, and hospotels are the first to provide that. We guide them towards these hospitals as we are confident enough that they will receive the required care and will be completely satisfied with it. This satisfaction, in turn, increases the number of customers and our returns, which we repurpose to improve insurance coverage. They add that the establishment of several hotel-like floors in hospitals, including the allocation of royal suites, golden suites, and special single rooms for inpatient accommodation, has become more prevalent than before and more requested by patients. This encourages insurance companies to keep pace with it and provide the appropriate insurance services for its customers.
Hotel Service and Medical Tourism
Many Arab countries adopted strategies and plans to activate the medical tourism, as they focused on implementing the hotel services program in their hospitals, in line with the trend of revitalizing the medical tourism in most countries around the world. This includes competition in attracting patients by providing the best medical and therapeutic services in hospitals, in line with their strategies to be at the forefront of the global medical tourism map. The first brands that contribute to the marketing of these products and services have been launched. The goal is to take maximum advantage of the healthcare facilities’ physical and human capabilities in attracting patients coming from abroad for treatment, which will increase the hospitals’ operational rates and achieve optimal utilization of their resources. In addition, it enhances the public and private authorities’ own resources, and contributes to the upgrade and continuous development of services in accordance with the latest quality standards and global health practices.
Health authorities in countries such as the Gulf States, Jordan, Egypt and others are moving forward in completing their plans to implement hospotel services, given the unique tourism potential and their appropriate nature that contribute to achieving the strategy of bringing patients from abroad to receive treatment in their hospitals as well as provide various medical packages for their medical care during their hospital stay. Some countries established special suites at airports to receive incoming medical patients, following up with them until they are dropped off in the finest hospotels, where they are provided with an excellent hotel service and appropriate medical treatment.
In fact, hospotels are not mere luxury. Today, they have become a hospital sector that is spread all over the world, is expanding every day and is expected to be significantly developed in the future.