Case Study: Shouldice Hospital
Shouldice Hospital Ltd. is a unique clinic located in Toronto Canada that specializes in external abdominal hernias. Open since 1945, the clinic that is more like a country club uses a method developed by Dr. Earle Shouldice that encourages a different procedure than used by most hospitals. The Shouldice Method reinforces the abdomen walls and requires only a sleeping pill with a local anesthetic which results in immediate patient ambulation and rapid recovery. There is an entire gamut of reasons why this clinic has been so successful in serving patients with higher quality service at a lower cost. A few of them include that (1) before the patient even makes an appointment they know they will be receiving a low risk and low recurrence procedure, (2) most patients come referred by previous patients reducing advertising costs, (3) the staff is relieved from "disagreeable" work meaning less laundry/housekeeping, (4) and doctors work normal hours Monday through Friday keeping them satisfied and not overworked, and also payroll and overtime down to a minimum. Shouldice accomplishes this by also (5) minimizing patient needs for physical assistance allowing for a lower nurse-to-patient ratio, (6) paying no more than $30,000 per operating room due to less anesthetic equipment, (7) offering free annual check-ups therefore investing in customer satisfaction, (8) having a market strategy that builds patient and employee loyalty (7) operating as a "focused factory" giving them a competitive edge, (8) by encouraging no top-down hierarchy but rather the mingling/socializing from the patients to the nurses to the kitchen staff and (9) having staff that are extremely involved with counseling and positive interactions with the patients.
Of these eleven there are two core reasons for the clinic’s success. The first reason is that it is a “focused factory” which allows for specialization in a specific area of expertise; this...
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