Qatar hospitals to offer five-star standards

February 18, 2011

Qatar has launched a programme to offer five-star hospitality standards to patients at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) hospitals.

A team of 49 HMC hospitality staff members have been given an exposure training by a five-star hotel and the team has made eight visits to Qatar’s top hotels to experience top quality hotel industry standards and bring back ideas that they can apply.

“The aim behind the exposure was for our staff to identify the similarities between our industries, observe guest interactions, and understand five-star service standards,” Justine Ormandy, director of Hospitality Training at HMC, said, quoted by Qatari daily The Peninsula.

“We wanted our staff to see hospitality in practice, learn how hotels meet, greet and serve customers according to set standards, and bring ideas from the experience back to HMC, with a view to implementing where practical,” said Ormandy, who organised the cross exposure for supervisors from HMC’s Patients and Visitors Service Centre, Housekeeping, Catering and Kitchen units.

During the visits, hotel executives discussed with the HMC hospitality staff their vision and values, product and facilities, loyalty programmes to encourage customers’ return, grooming and behaviour standards for staff, as well as how they measure customer satisfaction, and audit their product and service standards through mystery guests.

A tour of the facilities helped provide the HMC staff with insights into the guest experience cycle from arrival to departure. Though the types of customers both organisations have are different, both share the goal of being the best, and their success depends on the customer experience, the daily reported on Tuesday.

“The hotel staff members are proactive in offering their help to the guests and this is one aspect that we aim to focus on more at HMC to enhance the patient experience. The growth of our Patients and Visitors Service Center gives us more opportunity to develop our staff’s ability to interact with patients or visitors,” Ormandy said, adding customer service, complaint handling and telephone techniques training for the center staff has been conducted.

“We are looking at implementing five-star hospitality within HMC hospitals,” Martin Kolb, executive director of Hospitality at HMC, said. “We have brought in an international team with five-star hotel experience, and we want to share that experience with our staff so that together we have the same vision to move forward and implement that within our hospitals. We have prepared a training plan for implementation over the next year and are working in-house and with consultants to provide the training for every staff member who has patient or visitor contact at HMC,” she said

Currently, the Hospitality team collects feedback on the service in HMC hospitals from patients, the staff and their families who avail of health services from these hospitals.

“We incorporate their feedback into our plans for training in order to build on the positives and address any challenges,” Kolb said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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