Patient-Centered Care: What Healthcare Can Learn from Tourism

The healthcare sector is a constantly evolving industry. However, an aspect has been overlooked for far too long: customer service. In a recent TEDx Talk, Doug Lansky, a globally recognized keynote speaker and tourism expert, shed light on how the healthcare sector can benefit from adopting customer service strategies from the tourism industry. 

Lansky advocates for the implementation of smart customer service, emphasizing its potential to enhance patient satisfaction and improve the overall quality of care. According to him, this approach proves to be cost-effective and surpasses the benefits of investing in costly medical equipment.

Here are four aspects that could be refined in healthcare:


Visual Information

The first key idea Lansky presents is the provision of visual information. He explains that people are often anxious about medical procedures primarily because they are unfamiliar with the environment. The tourism industry excels at providing visual information, such as images of hotel rooms and amenities, which puts customers at ease. 

Lansky suggests that healthcare institutions can adopt a similar approach by providing patients with visual information about the clinic, waiting room, and staff. This can be done through simple means, such as sending an email with photos and videos, which can significantly reduce anxiety and stress.


Parking and Waiting Room

Several articles show that parking and waiting rooms are major stress points for patients. Therefore, Lansky suggests providing valet parking or digital maps with detailed parking information to address this. 

About the waiting room experience, he suggests that a small investment in comfortable chairs, a children’s area, and free Wi-Fi can have a significant impact on patient satisfaction. He also recommends using mobile notifications to update patients on wait times.



The adoption of the 10-5 rule, which is widely used in the tourism industry, can have great benefits. This rule suggests that if a staff member is within 10 feet of a customer, they should make eye contact and smile, and if they are within 5 feet, they should greet the customer verbally. Lansky argues that this simple act of acknowledgment makes people feel welcome and reduces stress. 

He highlights that this approach costs nothing and can be easily implemented by all staff members, including doctors, nurses, and administrators.



Lastly, we need effective communication and compassion in healthcare. Lansky suggests medical professionals should prioritize thoughtfulness in their language choices, like avoiding saying “no” to patients and instead providing alternatives or explanations; or using the word “sorry” when addressing patient complaints. 

Lansky argues that such communication is not just good customer service but is an act of compassion, which has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve patient outcomes.


Investing in Holistic Care for Improved Health

These low-cost and high-impact strategies Doug Lansky presented can be a game-changer. They are not just about improving the healthcare institution’s image; they directly impact the patients’ health outcomes. Bitboundaire’s mindset, which emphasizes collaboration, transparency, and long-term relationships, resonates with this approach. 

Just as we seek to understand and exceed client expectations in software development, healthcare providers can adopt a similar way of thinking by focusing on the patient’s experience. The integration of technology, values, and practices can be the cornerstone of a new era in healthcare, where patient satisfaction and holistic care are at the forefront, and both patients and providers succeed together.

“The real trick here is to rethink our approach to strategic patient service… Patient service that is a smart and cost-effective investment in better healthcare for everyone.” – Doug Lansky


Click here to access Doug Lansky’s full TEDx talk.

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