After reading this article, it gives me an idea that Shouldice Hospital is a leading hospital that provides the limited service of repairing inguinal hernias using a unique surgical technique developed by Dr. Earle Shouldice. The surgery accompanied by an active recovery regimen at the resort like facility has proved very successful. Nevertheless, there are three main issues that are worth for the management to consider: expansion, misuse of hospital! s name, and marketing strategy. Expansion Since Shouldice Hospital is so well-knowne d for its hernia operations, it is possible for the hospital to expand its capacity to the fullest, while maintaining control over the quality of the service delivered at the same time. Shouldice Hospital can consider about choosing from the following three alternatives: initiation of Saturday surgery, adding another floor to the facility, and opening a hospital at a different site.
Initiation of Saturday surgery As noted from the article, the office hours for Shouldice Hospital are weekdays only. As a result, it is possible for the hospital to expand its office hours to Saturday. By adding Saturday operations, it can help relieve the waiting period for the people on the wait list and raising revenue at the same time. However, the surgeons may reject for the idea of initiating Saturday surgery due to the extra workload added to them. The main reasons that attract surgeons to work at Shouldice Hospital are able to spend time with families during weekends and steady working hours. Therefore if surgeons are asked to work on Saturday, it may be difficult for the hospital to maintain such a good working relationships and attitudes, and therefore causing the moral of the hospital to decrease and some animosity between the older and younger doctors, and the worst is the quality of the service may be seriously affected.
Indeed, I will suggest Shouldice Hospital to try adding Saturday operations once per month to see whether it works or not. One way that the hospital can do to encourage surgeons to work on Saturday is by raising their salaries. The hospital can choose either to raise their Saturday hourly rate or giving bonuses to surgeons for working on Saturday. I believe the extra revenue should outweigh the increasing operating costs by adding Saturday hours. Adding another floor to the facility Personally I believe that adding another floor to the current location of the hospital is one the best long-term strategies.
By adding extra floors, the hospital is able to serve more patients while increasing revenue at the same time. Nevertheless, the hospital will need to hire more surgeons, nurses, and other supporting staffs. Again, I believe that if administered properly, the extra revenue should be able to outweigh the increasing operating expenses. One thing the hospital should be very careful is try to maintain the current working atmosphere. One of the greatest strengths of the hospital is the closeness of the employees. Increasing the number of staffs may dilute the feeling of being a member of such a big! ^0 family! +/-, and hence seriously affect the moral of the hospital.
Opening a hospital at a different site Another important strategy that Shouldice Hospital should consider in the long run is to open a new hospital at a different site. According to the article, it was estimated that 600, 000 hernia operations were performed in the United States in 1979. Also, about 42% of all Shouldice patients come from the United States. As a result, it is easy to see that there is such a great potential to start a new hospital in the United States. By opening a new site, it is possible to relieve the backlog of surgeries and thus help cut costs for all patients, while of course increasing revenue at the same time. Again, the hospital should try its best to preserve the! ^0 family! +/- feeling among the staff members.
However, before starting a new location outside Canada, Shouldice Hospital should consider carefully about the impacts of the new location will have on the present hospital. Question like whether the new location will bring new sources of income to the hospital (i. e. without affecting the current revenue level of the present facilities) should be discussed thoroughly. Misuse of Hospital! s Name Since Shouldice Hospital is so famous for its hernia operations, many competitors always try to emulate the hospital. As a result, the hospital should try its best to protect such a valuable goodwill asset, in order to distinguish itself from the rest of the industry.
One way I will suggest the hospital to do is try to negotiate with the government to see whether it is possible to legalize the hospital! s name or operational procedures, even though the current situation may not allow the hospital to take out a patent on medical operating procedures. Marketing Strategy As from the article, it seems that the only marketing strategy the hospital has used is by word-of-mouth advertising. According to the result of a poll shown in Exhibit 3 in the article, more than 50% of the patients know about Shouldice Hospital through friends. Nevertheless in such a competitive industry, I believe the hospital should try some other different strategies in order to boost up its revenue, while keep its operating costs as low as possible. For example, the hospital can try to send out flyers that they have already printed. Such way is cheap but really helps a lot in terms of advertising efficiency.
The hospital can also invite the media like magazines or newspapers to take a visit. I believe much more people will know about the hospital through printed articles, and therefore revenue will be raised in a great proportion. Other than the above major issues, Shouldice Hospital should always try its best to maintain the quality of the routine! ^0 bread and butter! +/- hernia operation. Also, the hospital may need to consider whether it is a necessary to hire another anesthetist for backing up. According to the result of the poll, more than half of the patients (24 out of 43) do not consider the fees charged for operation and hospital stay is a big issue.
As a result, it seems that there is still room for Shouldice Hospital to raise its charges in a proper way. By learning through mistakes, the employees or surgeons can learn a lot and thus quality of the service will be improved. Therefore, the hospital should continue to maintain such a good strategy in the future. In conclusion, if Shouldice Hospital wants to sustain its leadership position in the future, the hospital should take an expansionary view for its strategic management.
Opening a new site in the United States seems to be one of the best choices the hospital should consider. Defending the integrity of its name, which is the most valuable intangible asset, is also one of the main task that Shouldice Hospital should concern about. Setting up different advertising plans can help the hospital boost up its revenue in the long run. Above all, a! ^0 family! +/ -- style working atmosphere is the most important area that Shouldice Hospital should try its best to maintain.