Cornell Roundtable Finds Synergies and Savings for Healthcare and Hospitality Industries

Mar 30, 2012

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.254.8987,

Cornell Roundtable Finds Synergies and Savings for Healthcare and Hospitality Industries

First ever Hospitality and Healthcare Roundtable focuses on improving operations in both industries
Ithaca, NY, March 30, 2012 - While the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates on federal healthcare statutes, the U.S. healthcare industry is moving ahead with innovative programs to save money and improve patient care. One novel step in that process was the first Hospitality and Healthcare Roundtable, which was a collaboration between the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the School of Hotel Administration, the Sloan Program in Health Administration at Cornell University, and numerous healthcare systems and hospitality firms.

Given the current interest in healthcare, the CHR has just made available a summary of the roundtable discussions, at no charge: "The Intersection of Hospitality and Healthcare: Exploring Common Areas of Service Quality, Human Resources, and Marketing." Some three dozen roundtable participants from both industries shared their best practices, with the goal of finding common ground and cross-pollinating towards the development of improved strategies.

"We found a remarkable number of common areas of management strength," said Brooke Hollis, executive director of the Sloan Program. "Both industries share a rapidly changing operating environment. Our goal was to begin a more formal dialogue between the fields and to identify certain key success factors for both. One of these factors is creating a culture of more respectful treatment and valuing all stakeholders. There are many other crossover ideas that are being adopted—in particular by hospitals from the hospitality industry."

"We see many issues that both hotels and healthcare systems must address," added Rohit Verma, CHR executive director and a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. "Both have transient customers, food service is important in both industries, and both face considerable staff turnover. What we learned is that developing an effective culture engages staff members and promotes customer satisfaction and service excellence."

Through adoption of hospitality-related techniques, many healthcare systems have improved staff and patient satisfaction, and also reduced employee turnover. Innovations from hospitality are also being adapted for healthcare facilities. Not all facilities have the budget for significant renovation or replacement, but in those cases, participants found that a strong staff can help overcome the challenges of inflexible facilities to create an excellent patient experience.

The situation for the two industries diverges in terms of revenue streams, since hospitals will undoubtedly face reduced government payments. However, both hotels and healthcare systems must pay attention to costs. The healthcare system has the obvious difference of achieving clinical excellence in addition to service—but overall improvements in employee engagement and communication skills may be helpful in this area as well. Keeping people healthy in the first place also reduces healthcare costs.

A continuing flow of ideas between the two industries will allow healthcare to benefit from a hospitality-style approach of focusing on a service culture. At the same time, the hospitality industry can learn from healthcare executives' expertise in complex-system management, which involves complicated supply chains, multiple decision makers and stakeholders, and a collaborative approach to product and service innovation. Hollis concludes: "CHR and Sloan look forward to future exploration of these topics with our industry colleagues."

About the Sloan Program

Established in 1955 as the nation's first two-year academic master's program in healthcare management, Sloan has been training future healthcare leaders for over half a century. It is named to acknowledge the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which selected Cornell and funded the development of a new program to promote application of modern management practices to healthcare. Sloan is located in the multidisciplinary College of Human Ecology and is driven by preeminent faculty, engaged alumni, bright, dedicated students, and collaborations across Cornell's rich academic landscape. Among these collaborations are a variety of initiatives with the School of Hotel Administration. The Sloan Program offers a Master of Health Administration (MHA), a dual degree MHA/MBA with Johnson at Cornell, and an accelerated 5-year BA/BS + MHA.  For additional information:

About CHR Roundtables

Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) roundtables provide an interactive and engaging meeting place for a small number (approximately 25 or so) invited senior-level executives, Cornell faculty members, and research scholars affiliated with CHR.  There is a pre-roundtable  session and reception which includes a group of students interested in the topic the night before. The actual roundtable session follows the next day. Each roundtable lasts one day and is divided into three to five focused sessions.  Each session typically begins with a short research presentation, open-ended remarks, or guiding questions offered by the designated moderator. After the initial remarks, one or two other participants are invited to offer their comments to either support, contest, or add to the initial presentation. The conversation is then opened up to all the participants of the roundtable for discussion. Given the relatively small number of attendees, all participants get ample opportunity throughout the day to engage in and participate in discussions during various sessions. Cornell students and other faculty members often sit in the audience and listen to the roundtable discussions. They interact with the invited panelists during session breaks. For more information on roundtables, please visit:

About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 78 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit

Center Senior Partners: ASAE Foundation, Carlson Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, National Restaurant Association, SAS, STR, and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces 

Center Partners: Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, French Quarter Holdings, Inc., HVS, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, McDonald's USA, newBrandAnalytics,, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Sathguru Management Consultants (P) Ltd., Schneider Electric, Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, WATG and Wyndham Hotel Group

Center Friends: • Berkshire Healthcare • Center for Advanced Retail Technology • Cleverdis • Complete Seating • Cruise Industry News • DK Shifflet & Associates • • EyeforTravel • Gerencia de Hoteles & Restaurantes • Global Hospitality Resources • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) • • • Hospitality Technology Magazine • • International CHRIE • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • JDA Software Group, Inc. • J.D. Power and Associates • The Lodging Conference • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • LRA Worldwide, Inc. • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • PhoCusWright Inc. • PKF Hospitality Research • Questex Hospitality Group • Resort and Recreation Magazine • The Resort Trades • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • UniFocus • Vantage Strategy • WageWatch, Inc. • The Wall Street Journal • WIWIH.COM