By Julie Weed, The New York Times
At the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital outside Detroit, patients arrive to uniformed valets and professional greeters. Wi-Fi is free and patient meals are served on demand 24 hours a day. Members of the spa staff give in-room massages and other treatments.
While clinical care is the focus of any medical center, hospitals have many incentives to move toward hotel-inspired features, services and staff training. Medical researchers say such amenities can improve health outcomes by reducing stress and anxiety among patients, while private rooms can cut down on the transfer of disease.
But a big driver of the trend may be hospitals’ interest in marketing — attracting patients with private insurance who have a choice in where they receive care, and encouraging word-of-mouth recommendations.