Certification for Hotels catering for Health Tourists

Health tourism has evolved as a global trend. People with various healthcare conditions or medical problems travel abroad aiming to receive treatment in combination to the travel experience.
Due to their unique needs and expectations, medical travel guests require proof that the hotels and in general hospitality enterprises provide appropriate, safe & efficient accommodation services.
The hospitality sector stands to profit vastly from the substantial new opportunities and economic growth of the sector.

H STAR II- BLUE SERVICE FOR EXCELLENCE certification has been launched especially for travellers with chronic health problems, sensitive customers and medical/ health tourists.
HSTAR II standard provides a framework of best practice and proof of the high level of alertness on the issues that may occur to these special and/ or sensitive guests.

Benefits at a Glance

By ensuring a smooth and safe experience for sensitive guests, you stand to:

Draw the growing number of senior tourists, chronic disease patients who regularly travel, medical tourists traveling for elective treatments as well as their escorts –
Hotels, become a pole of attraction for thousands of tourists around the global looking for safe and quality accommodation with guaranteed awareness and addressing of their healthcare issues.

A matter of RELIABILITY and TRUST in hospitality services

✓ Effectively Serve patients with chronic diseases, functional conditions with regular health needs or increased safety concerns during travelling
✓ Support Medical Tourists in the concept of Medical or Health Tourism services.
✓ Enhance overall service safety assurance capabilities of your enterprise
✓ Boost your competitive profile in hospitality & in the health tourism market
✓ Achieve increased visibility & recognition by industry stakeholders
✓ International networking

Internal Reformation- Advanced knowledge and professional skills for the staff

✓ Operational and technical reformation / internationalization of structures – functions
✓ Staff’s education and specialization
✓ Interface / collaboration / networking with Medical Services – Health Tourism facilitators
✓ Financial benefits

Description of the standard

H STAR II- Blue Hotel for Excellence certification has been launched especially for health travellers and medical tourists, including sensitive customers with chronic health problems, and systemic diseases.
HSTAR II standard provides a framework of best practice and proof of the qualitative way to properly prepare and support the accommodation of health/ medical tourists along with a high level of alertness on the issues that may occur to special and sensitive guests.
The standard has been developed by the contribution of highly experienced professionals from the fields of hospitality, healthcare sector, quality systems’ assurance and acute medical care management, following the principles and recent trends of conformity criteria formulation and verification standardization frames.
The Hospitality provider is required to ensure continuous adjustment of the hospitality services to the given criteria, operational standards, and principles arising from the specific needs of medical tourists and international sensitive categories of guests, in order to achieve enhanced customer satisfaction and at the same time prove its operational and functional excellence of specialization in managing and serving medical and health tourists.
The H STAR I standard is divided to 5 discrete chapters

•«HSTAR-II» Top Management Quality Requirements (CHAPTER 1)

The implementation of the standard as well as the establishment of all related standardised procedures and requirements should be part of the business orientation and the developmental strategy of the enterprise. Top Management is essential to guarantee, commitment to the applied standards as well as the adequate assignment of the requested resources to the compliance towards the standard criteria. It should, furthermore, intervene and effectively supervise the procedures for services’ provision to the health/ medical tourists. In the first chapter of the standard, quality policies, operational and management- related issues and actions envisaged in order to appropriately meet the Blue Service for Excellence requirements, are described.
In addition, quality management system policies are required to be established and continuously applied in the regular operations of the enterprise.
This chapter’s enquiries come on top of the previsions of H STAR I standard- Chapter 1 (see relevant description).

•«HSTAR-II» Human Resources Management (CHAPTER 2)

Providing services to specific categories of guests as health and medical tourists, demands a special approach governed by communication principles and the involvement of particular skills and staff qualifications. Those special characteristics should be gradually developed and cultivated in a professional manner.
The integration of these principles in daily operations entails staff compliance therewith requests the existence of a personnel management policy and educative actions to the enterprise.
Major components of these elements are
1. Special needs of Health/ Medical Tourists services- international best practices
2. Multicultural performance in customers’ services
3. Physical and occupational safety – hygiene – principles
4. Acute care management
This chapter’s enquiries come on top of the previsions of H STAR I standard- Chapter 2 (see relevant description).

• «HSTAR-II» Quality Management System Elements (CHAPTER 3)

This chapter has as main scope the set of conformity criteria for the standardised operational frame and the quality management system elements, established by the Enterprise. Protection of customers’ privacy and information confidentiality, equity, transparency are among the significant principles that are requested to be satisfied. Environmental protective attitude by the Enterprise is another important dimension that is included to the standard.
In addition, related quality system procedures are required to be established and continuously applied in the regular operations of the enterprise.

•«HSTAR-II» Guests’ Safety Measures (CHAPTER 4)

Safeguard of customers’ health and integrity is an undisputable priority of the HSTAR series and rules all sections of the HSTAR standards.
Management of the enterprise should ensure systematic control for the appropriate and safe operation of the hotel/ hospitality enterprise, the building structures and the equipment used by the guests and especially for the special customer categories and in the context of the Blue Service for Excellence.
Safety measures’ control and testing, risk assessment practices and the implementation of safety interventions within the infrastructure for technical security are significant parts and specially described in this chapter.
The enterprise should follow the specific conformity criteria to develop and implement policies for the physical safety and security of the visitor and care to deal with emergencies and natural disasters.

•«HSTAR-II» Technical and Operational Quality Criteria (CHAPTER 5)

This section describes specific functional and operational objectives regarding specific services to be provided to the health/ medical tourist. Hosting services must be adjusted in accordance to the given criteria and principles arising from the specific needs of this particular guests’ group, in order to maximize customer satisfaction.
The Hospitality enterprise should adopt discrete and documented procedures in the direction of providing assistance, in the organization of medical tourists’ travel (planning, booking), coordination of transportation, travelling, and recreation in collaboration with the medical service providers and/or medical tourism facilitator or tour operators. For the above services the hospitality provider needs to demonstrate cooperation with the medical sector and the tourism industry respectively in order and draw distinctive role in the management of health/ medical tourists before the traveling, and during health travel.
This chapter’s enquiries come on top of the previsions of H STAR I standard- Chapters 3- 4 (see relevant description).