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April 25, 2017
New Jewish Home to transform customer experience
The New Jewish Home,a nonprofit that offers geriatric care and rehabilitation services to 12,000 older adults annually, is taking a page from the customer-centric philosophy of for profit companies such as JetBlue and W Hotels and a growing number of hospitals.
As part of its $1.3 million “hospitality and empathy” initiative, Jewish Home is training all 2,300 members of its workforce, from the chief executive and other top managers to employees including food service workers, custodians, geriatricians and home health aides, to provide
more sensitive and “person-directed” care to the elders they serve, according to Tammy Marshall, Jewish Home’s chief experience officer. The goal is also to make employees feel more valued and respected in the work
“We feel it’s a step beyond and outside of customer service,” said Marshall, who started her career in the hospitality industry before going into nursing 30 years ago.
“It’s hospitality-based. If you’re in our care, we know you so deeply by understanding your needs that we’re able to deliver something that is unique to the individual,” she said.
That includes offering all Jewish Home clients—they eschew the term patients—the autonomy to make their own choices regarding, for example, how warm they keep their bedrooms, what they eat and when they go to bed.
So far, Jewish Home has put about 500 employee through the rigorous training program, which entails hours of role-playing and other communications exercises to understand the role of body language, tone of voice and other behaviors.
“We’re really coaching and mentoring employees to understand what it might be like to enter a nursing home,” Marshall said.
To help develop the program, Jewish Home hired consultants Just Think Hospitality, whose clients include W Hotels, Hyatt and JetBlue, as well as The Grand Healthcare System, a geriatric care system and Orthology Physical Wellness Management.
Jewish Home will select 10 ambassadors to help champion the hospitality initiative at its two campuses in Westchester County and Manhattan, its senior housing division and its homehealth operation.—R.S. (Robin Schatz)