Why Disney should run healthcare

My oldest daughter’s competitive cheer team qualified for the World’s Cheer competition in Orlando, FL. The competition was held a couple of weekends ago at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. There were teams from all over the world; Czech Republic, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, New Zealand the US, among others. It was big, really big and Disney handled it without incident.

Here are some observations:

  1. Transportation – A never ending stream of buses and shuttles moved thousands of cheerleaders and their parents around over a five day period, in and out of various parks, special events and the cheer competition. It went as smooth as silk. Oh, and I can’t forget about the monorail system. Talk about quick and easy. Ask patients without reliable transportation how they get to their appointments; they often don’t.
  2. Speed – I stood in lots of lines while at Disney World, but the lines always moved fast and in an organized manner, unlike healthcare where everyone waits and waits and waits; just ask a patient.
  3. Identification – Upon arrival, participants were issued identifications cards. The cards contained name, resort location, hopper status, dates of stay, etc. In addition the cards were tied via barcode to the vacationers resort account for charging. It took less than 5 minutes to get your identification card at the resort. Have you ever gone through the admission process at a hospital? You’d be lucky if you got through the process in less than a couple of hours.
  4. Identity verification – Disney allows you to move freely from park to park, provided you have the right pass. The pass provided upon arrival displays your status, i.e. 4-day park hopper, 5-day park hopper, etc. In addition the pass contains a barcode. Upon entry into the first park the attendant ties your fingerprint to the barcode on the pass. From that point forward I simply ran my ticket through the machine, put my finger in the scanner, waited for the green light and entered the park. Smooth. Try hopping around from hospital to hospital and see how that works out for you.
  5. Special event – Have you ever tried to transport a few thousand people to a theme park? Me neither, but Disney did it. Following the cheer competition Disney was kind enough to close the park for a private after hours cheer party. A fleet of large tour buses pulled up to the resort and made several trips moving cheerleaders and parents back and forth from the park. It was comfortable, quick and convenient.
  6. Special event identification – Yep, a unique wristband identified competition participants and gave them access to the special buses and after hours party. Simple, easy, effective.
  7. Imaging – Photographers and videographers make good money at these cheer competitions. Every parent wants professional photos and videos of their kid on stage. The World’s competition was no exception and thousands of photos were taken and dozens of videos were captured. How long do you think it took to get your photos and videos? How about long enough for the kids to walk off stage and move to a bank of computers where they selected their photos, paid for them and got them hand delivered all in about 20 minutes. Video took a bit longer and required that they be shipped directly to your home within two weeks. Have you ever hand an x-ray taken or an MRI done? How long did it take to get the results? Were you able to log in immediately after your tests and view them yourself? The cheerleaders could.
  8. Environment – Let’s face it, Disney is giving you the shaft while you’re running around inside their parks. It’s hot, the lines are long, everything is overpriced and you’re more tired after your vacation than before you started. But the people are so friendly, the park is so clean and the atmosphere so light and easy going that you overlook everything else and just enjoy yourself. When was the last time you left the hospital as a patient or visitor and thought the same thing, i.e. everything went so well and everyone was so nice that all I had to do was worry about getting well? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

And there you have it, the reasons I think Disney should take over healthcare.

4 thoughts on “Why Disney should run healthcare”

  1. Great post,
    It is interesting that most of what is needed in healthcare IT has already been done over and over in other sectors. Yes, healthcare it is different, very, but the fundamentals are the same. It is a shame to see all the money being used in so many places to reinvent the wheel. I was talking to a leader in HIE from a major corporation last week, we were having the same conversation. At the end we came to the conclusion that it will just take time and things will probably have to be redone before we get it right. i hope not.

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