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Visioning a hospitality-oriented patient experience (HOPE) framework in health care

Philippa Hunter-Jones (Department of Marketing, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
Nathaniel Line (Dedman School of Hospitality, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Jie J. Zhang (University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)
Edward C. Malthouse (Department of Integrated Marketing Communication, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA)
Lars Witell (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden) (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Brooke Hollis (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 8 April 2020

Issue publication date: 12 November 2020




This paper considers the question: what would happen if healthcare providers, like their counterparts in the hospitality industry, adopted the principles of customer experience management (CEM) in order to facilitate a more holistic and personalized patient experience? It proposes an alternative vision of the patient experience by adding to an emerging hospitality–healthcare literature base, this time focusing upon CEM. A hospitality-oriented patient experience (HOPE) framework is introduced, designed to enhance the patient experience across all the touchpoints of the healthcare journey.


This is a conceptual paper that draws upon three distinct literatures: hospitality literature; healthcare literature; and CEM literature. It utilizes this literature to develop a framework, the HOPE framework, designed to offer an alternative lens to understanding the patient experience. The paper utilizes descriptions of three unique patient experiences, one linked to chronic pain, a second to gastro issues and a third to orthopedic issues, to illustrate how adopting the principles of hospitality management, within a healthcare context, could promote an enhanced patient experience.


The main theoretical contribution is the development of the HOPE framework that brings together research on CEM with research on cocreative customer practices in health care. By selecting and connecting key ingredients of two separate research streams, this vision and paradigm provide an alternative lens into ways of addressing the key challenges in the implementation of person-centered care in healthcare services. The HOPE framework offers an actionable roadmap for healthcare organizations to realize greater understanding and to operationalize new ways of improving the patient experience.


This paper applies the principles of hospitality and CEM to the domain of health care. In so doing it adds value to a hospitality literature primarily focused upon extensive employee–customer relationships. To a healthcare literature seeking to more fully understand a person-centered care model typically delivered by a care team consisting of professionals and family/friends. And to a CEM literature in hospitality, which seeks to facilitate favorable employee–customer interactions. Connecting these separate literature streams enables an original conceptual framework, a HOPE framework, to be introduced.



The authors would like to thank Lewis. P. Carbone, Roz Cama and Alexis P. Strong for their insightful comments into earlier drafts of the work. They would also like to thank their reviewers for their thought provoking feedback too.


Hunter-Jones, P., Line, N., Zhang, J.J., Malthouse, E.C., Witell, L. and Hollis, B. (2020), "Visioning a hospitality-oriented patient experience (HOPE) framework in health care", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 869-888.



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