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How Integrated Digital Health Solutions Work to Enhance Hospitality’s Value and Quality

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels are finding that guests want and benefit from digital health solutions in case they fall ill while on property.
8/27/2021
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Digital health solutions have been available in the hospitality industry for decades, but it was not until the COVID-19 pandemic that industry leaders began to see its potential for keeping guests healthy and safe while also helping their businesses to stay open.

For years, it has been commonplace to hear horror stories about guest experiences with “hotel doctors.” If they weren’t accused of incompetence, they were blamed for slow responses and high fees.

Consider this: Before COVID-19, the only medical assistance offered to a hotel guest was a referral to an outside physician or the use of hotel staff. In either case, the hotel has to account for some seriously problematic scenarios.

For example, when a doctor goes into a room and treats a hotel guest, malpractice issues could arise. As a result, the guest could sue the hotel since the hotel recommended the doctor. How is this possible? Hotels often don’t have a contractual arrangement with the doctor to hold them harmless in case of litigation.

So, what’s a hotel to do? Consider some of the benefits of digital health solutions.

This is an area where digital health solutions provide protection, and not liability, to a hotel. Digital health solutions have a hold harmless agreement which alleviates the liability issue related to doctor consultation. Digital health solutions also offer board-certified physicians which are important to ensuring quality care. These physicians are also highly trained in telemedicine consulting.

Another area of concern are possible language barriers between hotel guests and local physicians. Digital health solutions help bridge language barriers between doctors and patients because they offer doctors from around the world who speak dozens of languages.

 

Seen Immediately at Low Cost

Digital health solutions also allow guests to be seen right away. For example, many hotels don’t have doctors working at the property. Instead, the doctors are on call. And sometimes those physicians are not available to visit guests at the hotel property. This is unsurprising as most requests for medical services occur in the wee hours of the morning and on weekends, not during normal hours of operation.

Consider this: When hotel guests call the doctor’s office, they speak with an intake nurse who tells them the doctor will get back to them. That could be in an hour, a day or perhaps even longer. Meanwhile, the patient isn’t being treated and there is no guarantee that the doctor will respond in a timely manner. With a digital health solution, doctors can reach out to patients 24/7 and respond in 4 ½ minutes or less from the time the patients call them through a phone number associated with a secure, web-based patient portal and smartphone application.

And don’t forget the cost of a visit. Hotel managers have reported to the American Hotel and Lodging Association that local doctors can charge up to $400 for a routine, in-room doctor house call.

In contrast, a virtual urgent care telehealth program with extensive medical information and, if needed, a consultation with a board-certified physician, is quick and convenient -- and there are minimal costs to the guest. Plus, with digital health solutions, there are no costs to the hospitality property for health information or physician queries no matter how many times guests use the service during their stay.

 

Major Medical Costs

Preventing guests from incurring major medical costs while on vacation is important for two reasons. First, it ensures the guest continues to have money at their disposal for leisure spending at the hotel – room service, hotel restaurant, etc. Second, it improves the customer experience.

Having a digital health solution also gives great value to a hotel’s resort fee. In addition, hotels and resorts have told the American Hotel and Lodging Association that they experience fewer cancellations and guest downtime due to illness or injury, increasing revenue.

A digital health solution conveys a significant “we care” message, driving greater loyalty and improving chances that guests will return to your resort. It also provides a meaningful wellness service that guests will find favorable whether or not they use it.

Finally, hotels and resorts with digital health solutions can advertise to guests that they are on the leading edge in the very competitive hospitality sector.

 

 

About Hospitality Wellness Group 

Serving hotels and resorts worldwide, Hospitality Wellness Group offers an innovative visitor and revenue-enhancing service, called Hospitality Wellness Program which delivers major value to hotels and resorts throughout the world.  www.hospitalitywellnessgroup.org.

 

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