Disney Institute Announces New Healthcare Service Program as Hospitals Prepare for Public Reporting of Patient Scores

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - July 01, 2011 - As a government deadline for public reporting of patient satisfaction scores draws near, Disney Institute announced today the addition of a professional development program created specifically for hospitals/healthcare organizations: Building a Culture of Healthcare Excellence.

The new program, which is available in a variety of formats, incorporates the five most powerful Disney philosophies - leadership excellence, people management, quality service, brand loyalty and creativity/innovation - to help healthcare administrators, physicians, nurses and other manager-level personnel consistently exceed the expectations of patients.

"Our program helps hospitals and healthcare organizations focus more on the overall patient experience, rather than just clinical outcomes," says Disney Institute consultant Patrick Jordan, a former healthcare executive. "This is incredibly important for building a culture of excellence."

The timing of the new Disney Institute program coincides with a new nationally standardized survey that captures patients' perspectives of their hospital care - the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). HCAHPS allows consumers, for the first time, to compare hospitals based on measures of how effectively they are satisfying patients' needs and expectations. The survey‘s 27 questions look beyond clinical outcomes and technical capabilities of hospitals and focus instead on aspects of the care experience that are particularly meaningful to patients, including:

  • Communication with doctors and nurses
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff

• Hospital environment (cleanliness, noise levels, etc.)

Starting this month, hospitals will be required to publicly report the results of these surveys, which will be published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on its Hospital Compare website (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov).

But outside of the new requirement, Jordan says hospitals need to pay close attention to patient satisfaction simply to remain viable in today's competitive marketplace.

"The overall experience is driving hospital volume today," Jordan says. "It's becoming increasingly important for patients to feel like their doctors and nurses are communicating with them, and that they are in a safe, comfortable environment while they heal. As a result some of the health plans are looking at this information to decide where to send their insured."

Developed using Disney best practices as well as lessons learned from current healthcare clients, Disney Institute's Building a Culture of Healthcare Excellence focuses on the entire patient experience, including interactions with hospital staff at all levels, and amenities that can help the patient feel more comfortable, such as private rooms and on-demand dining services. The program is also designed to help the leadership team embrace its own weaknesses.

"As with guests in Disney theme parks, the patient has to feel that he or she is getting the best possible service in all areas and at all levels, from the receptionist to the nurses and physicians," says Jordan. "That starts with leadership."

Scott Gordon, executive vice president of Arkansas Children's Hospital, knows this firsthand. Gordon and his team began working with Disney Institute when the hospital's patient satisfaction scores and employee satisfaction rates were lower than expected. After nearly 10 years and a variety of follow-up sessions with Disney Institute, including additional training for physicians and nurses, ACH was recently named one of FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® the third year in a row.

Gordon says he and his leadership team learned that "it really starts with us. If we communicate effectively, listen to our staff and show them how we ‘walk the talk' then they'll want to do the same.

"We are now purposeful in treating our children, families, fellow team members and entire community with care, love and hope," adds Gordon. "Now that we have a culture by design rather than a culture by default, we find that all of our efforts-fundraising, retention of team members, patient satisfaction and work with our physician partners-are more successful because we are more consistent and focused."

Florida Hospital for Children has also seen patient satisfaction scores increase after their time with Disney Institute. After measuring patient and family satisfaction scores two years in a row, administrators were shocked to find their facility ranked in the bottom ten percent of hospitals nationwide.

FHC began embracing change through Disney Institute seminars, site visits and subsequent training sessions at the hospital. As a result, Press Ganey patient/family satisfaction scores jumped from the bottom 10 percent in the nation to the top 10 percent, employee morale soared, employee retention rates improved and the hospital's pediatric emergency room is now ranked top in the nation.

"I've never seen a health facility turn it around so totally and quickly," says Disney Institute consultant Chris Caracci, himself a former health care professional. "It's largely due to the hospital's leaders inspiring the entire staff."

For more information on Disney Institute's Building a Culture of Healthcare Excellence program, please visit www.disneyinstitute.com.

About Disney Institute
Disney Institute was created to showcase Disney best practices that easily adapt to other organizations. One of the most recognized names in professional development, Disney Institute travels the world offering engaging seminars, workshops and presentations, as well as fully customized programming. Immersive learning experiences are also offered at Disney destinations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, enabling participants to go behind the scenes and see firsthand how business theory drives operational excellence. The Disney Institute client roster includes Fortune 500 companies as well as a wide range of small businesses, non-profits and government agencies. To learn more about Disney Institute, please visit www.disneyinstitute.com, find at www.facebook.com/disneyinstitute, follow at www.twitter.com/disneyinstitute, or call 321-939-4600.

Media Contact:
Stacey Thomson
Disney Institute Public Relations
[email protected]