Here's further proof that we live in a Disney world.
No, not Disney World, the Orlando theme park, but a world run by the Disney megacorporation.
Kaiser Health News reports that a growing number of hospitals are turning to the Mouse for help on the customer service front, spending big bucks on training by Disney consultants.
The reason? A new federal health law requires Medicare to base hospital payments on patient-satisfaction scores starting in October 2012, which means hospitals must scramble to sharpen their skills. To do so will take magic--Disney magic.
Everyone from doctors to parking attendants are becoming Disney apprentices. After bringing in Disney consultants, one California hospital featured has already revamped its employee dress code, improved its landscaping and changed its hiring practices to focus on applicant's attitudes, KHN reports.
At Disney theme parks, employees are not employees but "cast members," and it seems that Disney consultants want hospitals to see their staffers the same way. At his various hospitals, consultant Patrick Jordan has recommended the following:
He has advised hospitals to redesign employee name tags so they are easy to read and to develop new uniforms to make it easier to identify people's jobs. He has also suggested rotating people through jobs so they are fresher in their duties. And he has helped hospitals recreate Disney's system of having "on stage" and "off-stage" areas so employees know when they are in public or in patient care areas where they need to be especially sharp and focused.
The cost of getting Disney-fied ranges from $1,299 for a three-and-a-half-day training program for one person at Disney World (not including lodging and meals) to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a multi-year consulting arrangement. Some lawmakers have criticized the idea of using taxpayer dollars to send hospital execs to what may seem like a posh Orlando vacation. Who pays the ultimate price?
Perhaps we'll all soon be seen by nurses in mouse ears and high pitched voices. "Open wide, little feller! Hahahaha!" And then we'll go home with a giant lollipop.