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Hotels and health care: similar but different

When you stay in a hotel, what makes the experience exceptional? Is it the welcoming door-man? The friendly concierge? Maybe the efficient and thorough cleaning staff? In fact, it isn’t any individual person—it’s all of them, working together to make the guest feel special.

The same can be said for health care. Gone are the days when nurses and doctors were considered to be the only true caregivers. In today’s healthcare environment, everyone plays a significant role—from the parking attendant to the medical secretary, from the accountant to the electrician. Not every member of staff has hands-on contact with users or an actual connection to family members, but each of them participates in an important manner in the care of every patient, resident or client.

This is a philosophy that CIUSSS West-Central Montreal shares with Planetree, an international organization whose goal is to educate and support healthcare facilities as they transform the way that care is delivered. It’s also why our CIUSSS has decided to become a Planetree member. We are joining a network of over 700 facilities, all of whom share the vision of person-centered care. Two of our sites, Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare Centre and Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre, have been affiliated with the organization for years. Both have had exceptional results—an indication of what we eventually expect to see CIUSSS-wide.

Planetree will offer insight and guidance on what it takes for staff to embrace an approach that makes them better able to satisfy not just the medical requirements, but the emotional and informational needs of users and their families. Users may not mistake any of our healthcare facilities for a hotel, but they’ll certainly know they’ve been at the centre of our attention.

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