Best Practices for the Patient Experience: Caring for Your Neighbors

By Elizabeth Ziemba, President, Medical Tourism Training

Hospitals and clinics that treat international patients most often also receive local or domestic patients. International patients, by the very fact that they are traveling away from home for health or medical care, require more patient services than domestic patients. And, of course, every patient deserves an excellent patient experience.

Smart healthcare providers make sure to remind their neighbors how important they are to the community where the hospital or clinic is located. The neighbors may work at the hospital, live nearby, provide transportation or hospitality services to the hospital staff and patients, or are treated at the hospital when needed. Acknowledging the important role that communities play is good business.

Hospital Clinica de Occidente, Cali, Colombia planted its stake in the ground in its neighborhood by adopting a green space in its neighborhood. A team from the hospital, in cooperation with the city government’s beautification program, cleared and prepared the space to create a new garden for everyone to enjoy. The hospital provided the gardeners, flowers, and greenery as well as the volunteers. It is one way for the hospital to show its appreciation for its neighbors.






There are many forms of corporate social responsibility. Actively committing to maintain public green space for everyone to enjoy is an excellent way to demonstrate appreciation for the community as well as remind everyone that the hospital is an important resource and partner.

How will your organization care for its neighbors?

About the author:

Elizabeth Ziemba, MPH JD is President of Medical Tourism Training Inc, a training, consulting, assessment, and accreditation consultancy, She is cohost of The Medical Travel Show, a serial podcast on medical travel topics. Contact her at


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Elizabeth Ziemba

Elizabeth Ziemba

President at Medical Tourism Training
With a diverse background in public health, law and business, Elizabeth brings a unique set of skills and experience to Medical Tourism Training with services including assessment tools, online and onsite training, workshops, and consulting services for governments, providers, facilitators, associations and others involved in medical travel.