Huddle up for hospitality!

Monthly briefings will help us adopt best practices

By: Kim Rose

The numbers are impressive! Approximately 11,500 faculty, employees, housestaff and volunteers who support care at UF Health have completed 30,000 hours of Hospitality and Service training. Plus, new staff now receive training during orientation.

The UF Health Dermatology at Springhill participates in Hospitality Huddles, a new initaitve stemming from Hospitality & Service training

The UF Health Dermatology at Springhill team gathered for a Hospitality Huddle during the pilot phase.

The UF Health Dermatology at Springhill team gathered for a
Hospitality Huddle during the pilot phase.

So what’s next?

To help us hardwire the Hospitality and Service Standards of Behavior, “Hospitality Huddles” were introduced last October in a pilot program in multiple UF Health Shands inpatient nursing units and hospital departments and UF Health Physicians outpatient practices. These twice-monthly briefings, uniting staff from different departments who work together, are designed to become a familiar part of our work culture.

“Organizations known for hospitality, such as Disney and the Ritz-Carlton, use huddles to help staff maintain customer focus and practice behaviors that are proven to create a great work and service environment,” said Marvin Dewar, M.D., J.D., UF College of Medicine senior associate dean and CEO of UF Health Physicians. “We’re excited to introduce Hospitality Huddles at UF Health.”

Starting this month, leaders will hold twice-monthly Huddles for work units and teams across UF Health Shands, UF Health Physicians, the UF College of Medicine and centralized UF Health core support departments.

During the informal, stand-up Huddles, leaders will present the month’s Hospitality and Service standard, or “Highlight.” Everyone will be asked to practice and observe specific behaviors and then share observations and lessons learned at the next Huddle. Highlights are selected to make a positive difference for everyone — patients, visitors and staff alike.

“Huddles will help us pause and be more mindful about how we go about our days,” said Janet Christie, UF Health Shands Human Resources senior vice president. “We can explore what the behaviors mean to our organization, how they apply to each of us and how we can practice them with our patients, visitors and — of equal importance — each other.”

Learn more about Hospitality and Service and the new Huddles on the UF Health Bridge at

Monthly Hospitality Huddles at a glance

First week:
Teams meet to discuss a monthly Hospitality and Service Standard of Behavior, or “Highlight.” Managers lead discussions and encourage staff to observe, practice and reinforce specific behaviors in the following days.

Third week:
Teams meet again to debrief and share what they learned since the last Huddle. Everyone learns together how hospitality and service behaviors impact their personal and team encounters and contribute to our patients’ experience.