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Last week (februari 4th)  we’ve launched our new Radboud University Oncologic Center (RUCO). State-of-the-art Healthcare in combination with hospitality. I will blog more about the RUCO in the next months, as this will be the first center where we will be bringing our strong vision, on how we will REshape our healthcare, into practice. So where Participatory Healthcare meets reality.

Discussing his keynote with our Executive Board Member Prof. Dr. Melvin Samsom, we tried to catch our vision into a few slides, for his keynote at the opening of RUCO on the symposium on World Cancer Day 2010. Because there were so many admissions we had to use two auditoria with a live transmission between them.


Below the keynote (in Dutch, transcript will follow) of Prof. Samsom (as a flipvideo, a professional version will follow and posted here also.)

There is very much more to tell about RUCO and our ambition to embrace the patient and his or her informal care into our team, and we will.

But right now I would like to focus on one aspect that always will affect every patient, every visitor and every worker at RUCO : Hospital-ity. And yes this is not a typo, but an intended way of writing to address not only the importance of this matter but also the way we think about it. Hospital-ity has been invented in hospitals I sometimes think, but also has more and more forgotten as common practice.

As a matter of fact : we have got our own Hospitality-officer.
New to our Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, but also quite unique in the (Dutch) Healthcare. “I support and advise the Board on improving the hospitality and the appearance of the Radboud” says Jan-Jaap Schmitz.


“On behalf of the Board, I encourage the employees to continuously look through the eyes of our guests’ to our organization. “I walk in the UMC regular route of the patient and see that there is much to improve our appearance and hospitality. Increasingly I wonder how the patient or visitor experience this? Everything must be tiptop. It starts when someone leaves home. The signage, parking, entrance to the Radboud, reception at the central hall, waiting rooms, the treatment by the doctor and nurse etc, our coffee.
Each department should be aware of the importance of government and welcoming atmosphere, said Schmitz. “I want to know how the departments that have incorporated this aspect into their business plans. “Appearance is irrelevant”, some people think. The care is most important. The latter is true, but appearance is not incidental. Patients are all experts when it comes to hospitality, as we all are. They know if they are received hospitable, how the waiting room looked like, how the treatment by our employees was. Every department and every employee must therefore excel in hospitality.

So, our hospital-ity officer is key to our ambition to create a welcome enviroment for the visitors of our hospital, patient, visitor and employee. When needed he brings parties together, to persuade them to do better and mostly create awareness, as in time one gets blind for his own surroundings.

In RUCO, as in the rest of our hospital, the awareness of hospital-ity will gain in the coming years as health 2,0, participatory healthcare and hospital-ity will stay high on our agenda.

To be continued … 

(part of the text about our Hospitality officer is based on an article of our own Radbode-journal)


Lucien Engelen

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