Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Disney Can Help Hospitals Make Money

One of the biggest drivers for the health care reform is patient satisfaction. Studies have shown that patients heal faster when their environment is conducive to their well-being and overall experience. This means cleaner hospitals, hospitable staff, responsive providers, etc. It is also important to note that Medicare reimbursements are tied to patient satisfaction scores. In order to capture the essence of superior customer experience, many hospitals are reaching out to consultants to implement innovative strategies. But why the Walt Disney Company? 

I guess it makes sense. When you hear Disney, what do you immediately think of? Superior customer experience. But is the success of a media company applicable to health care? Disney definitely believes so. Within Disney's $41 billion business is a small, consulting division called the Disney Institute. Similar to other consulting companies, the Disney Institute provides personal service tips to clients to improver their customer satisfaction. Disney's clients include health care providers, schools, and large corporations like United Airlines. Recently, Florida Hospital's patient satisfaction scores went from being one the worst to one the best in the country after it had consulted with Disney. Some of the changes that were made at Florida Hospital was employing a ukulele-playing greeter and switching from florescent bulbs to recessed lighting. 

What's amazing about Disney's "new business" is that it's not really new. They just took what they did well and applied it to a new market/industry that needed it desperately (i.e. health care). It's definitely a new way of thinking. Identifying new markets is just as important as maintaining your current markets. Part of a company's strategy is being able to identify attractive areas and quickly shift their resources towards them. At the end of the day, Disney knew their strength. It's making people happy, regardless of whether in it's at a theme park or a hospital.

Barnes, Brooke. In Customer Service Consulting, Disney's Small World is Growing. NY Times. 21 Apr 2012. 

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