Shouldice hospital was founded by Dr Earle Shouldice after World War II in Canada. The hospital performs external hernia surgery exclusively. External hernia surgery is considered simple surgery and is easily mastered by new surgeons. The service they offer is competitively priced, well below the average of $3000. Patients from the US typically can cover airfare and the operation for about $1500. The service is quite popular, at the time of the case the backlog was 1200 patients.
The Shouldice method utilizes a specific surgical technique that shortens recovery and encourages exercise and movement of the patient immediately following the operation. Patients are asked to walk from the operating room to the recovery room. The rooms have no phone or television both of which are centrally located to encourage patients to move after surgery.
The process is appealing in that they are focused on a particular market segment. They reject patients who do not fall into their set guidelines so there input is consistent. This enables Shouldice to operate with a production focus versus the traditional hospital where patient needs vary widely requiring a much more flexible approach.
Shouldice’s operating strategy is to focus on high volume simple surgery. Their target customer is a relatively healthy external hernia patient that wants to save money or is looking for experience and the Shouldice method. Shouldice has competitive advantages in price, surgery technique, time of recovery, and customer service (i.e. free check ups).
The Shouldice inputs, outputs, activities, and resources are tabulated below.
Table 1: Shouldice Inputs, Outputs, Activities, and Resources
The major process steps are diagramed below.
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