Shouldice Hospital.

Essay by smalldaddyUniversity, Master'sA, January 2006

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Distinctive features of Shouldice Hospitals over its competitors

* Shouldice Hospital focuses on a narrow segment of the patient base (hernia patients), providing high quality service at a low cost, hence capitalizing on the huge market potential in the field.

* The Shouldice Method: The unique superior quality technique developed by Shouldice Hospital derives its advantage from the usage of local anesthetic, nature of surgical procedure employed, design of facility, and the postoperative regimen differentiating it markedly from its competitors. Through the effective implementation of their unique method, Shouldice Hospital was able to reduce expenses incurred by patients, and the recurrence rate of hernia. (On an average, treatment at Shouldice costs about $493, compared to $2000 - $4000 at other hospitals. The recurrence rate is also pegged at just 0.8%)

* The fact that time taken for discharge of a patient in Shouldice (3 - 4 days) is less that in its competitors (5 - 8 days) is also a factor that has contributed to the success of Shouldice.

The time taken by the patient to report back to work (one week) is also lesser than their competitors.

* The Annual Reunion: Shouldice Hospital provides free annual checkups to its alumni, which is widely attended (about 1400 people attended in 1982) and is scheduled to coincide with a decline in activity at the hospital. This concept has been instrumental in building up a fraternity in the patient base and enhancing the brand image of the hospital.

* Individual Questionnaires: The patients are active participants in the service delivery model of the hospital. In fact, out-of-town patients are often diagnosed by mail, using a medical information questionnaire, which helps the surgeon to determine the type of hernia and the risks associated with surgery.

* There is a high emphasis on...