Shouldice Hospital Case Study
March 2, 2010
Respectfully submitted to
Prof. Scott McLaughlin
The Shouldice Hospital serves as a glaring example of extraordinary service and care for the impaired and needy. From carpeting and soft lighting to doting personal care from the staff, the Shouldice experience sets a standard of excellence for the industry. Dr. Earl Shouldice displayed an early desire for medical understanding with an age 12 exploratory of a farm animal. Medical training at the University of Toronto led to a private practice after World War One. An appendectomy of an obstinate young child led to questioning of his medical training concerning surgical recovery. The child’s refusal to remain still and bedfast after surgery led to the present “Shouldice method”. The consideration of immediate ambulation promoting quicker recoveries was proven by the observation and inspection of numerous cases following the stubborn child who refused to sit still. Dr. Shouldice used the following years to study and improve on these observations. The Shouldice Hospital was founded to use these observations to promote and capitalize on his proven method of hernia repair. In something of an assembly line method, Dr. Shouldice designed and developed his current factory type facility. Textual Concepts
Competitive Service Strategies from pages 38-41 of the text offers strategies to further the expansion of the Shouldice hospital service methodology. Service and Design Elements from pages 68-69 highlight Shouldice Hospital in the text specifically. Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act system of continuous improvement on page 146 of the text seems the basis of Shouldice’s methodology. Deming’s 14 Point program from page 154 of the text offers some important steps which could be used to softly promote progress within the Shouldice program. Franchising from page 343 of the text offers an answer to immediate inexpensive expansion to the current model. Strengths
The Shouldice Hospital has an easily identifiable surgical procedure, recovery practice and service known by the Name of Shouldice worldwide. The hospital experiences a backload of patients for the better part of the year due to simply word-of-mouth advertisement. The hospital has an “Alumni” of 140,000 clients assumed to be satisfied with the procedures. Out of the 140,000 just .8% is reported as be reoccurring hernias. Compared to the United States alone, noted as having the best health care in the world, the report indicates a 10% U.S. reoccurrence problem. The relatively low cost of services provided including the operation and travel is small to say the least and serves only to increase demand for the experience. The increase in patient applications prompted an expansion in productivity which only served to increase the demand the more. Shouldice is as supportive to their staff as they are to their patients. Above average pay, benefits, and profit sharing serve to entice a dedicated performance out of the staff. Doctors are said to find the Hospital desirous due to the light workload and the ability to live a full home life with their families. Weaknesses
Only external hernias are repaired by the program. The inclusion of internal hernias has been discouraged due to the increased amount of time needed to deal with the more extensive procedures in such a fast paced environment. The chances of extenuating circumstances create an unpredictable outcome as well as increased recovery time. The only site offering these unique services is located in Canada. Cases such as that of the author of this report are found to be excluded from such a procedure due to the need for international travel, governmental barriers, and monetary relations with foreign entities. Dr. Obney has resisted changes based on his inability to be on hand in case of an emergency or on his personal preferences. The ability to...
References: Fitzsimmons, J. A. & Fitzsimmons, M. J. (2008). _Service Management: Operations, Strategy, and Information Technology_ (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Heskett, James (2003) MBS-Harvard Business Case, Shouldice Hospital Ltd., Harvard Business Cases MBS Direct, Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163
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