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How Disney Informs the Customer Service Experience in Skilled Nursing

Emma Duquette, Touchpoints at Bloomfield, myCare Experience, iCare Management

Emma Duquette BSN RN, RAC-CT, CDP, CDONA - Director of Nursing at Touchpoints at Bloomfield

I recently attended the 30th annual convention of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administrators in Long Term Care (NADONA/LTC) at Disney World in Orlando Florida. It was held at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort.

Disney has long been at the top of companies with the happiest employees. You can see it everywhere you go within their grounds. From the time you check in; the enthusiastic bus drivers and the general staff.

There is a unique Disney customer culture that is hard to fake. You sense a real genuineness about it. It seems that everything Disney does is done in an excellent manner from the highway systems, buildings, how they organize and of course customer service. They really like what they do and do it to the best of their ability.  No wonder Disney has been called on as a consultant for many major U.S. companies.

I believe we at iCare can achieve similar results. I believe it takes just as much energy to do something wrong as to do it right. It starts with education of course. A right attitude along with boundaries and expectations clearly spelled out that everyone is on board with. Let me share some of the things I gleaned from this conference.

As a healthcare provider we can no longer afford to use excuses such as ‘I should have learned that in school’, ‘It is someone else’s job’, ‘I don’t have enough time’, or  ‘We don’t have a simple and quick remedy available to use’.

If our goal is to provide better care, more affordable care resulting in healthier people and communities, we need to educate from the top to the bottom. This includes the doctors, APRN’s, RN’s, LPNS, CNAs as well as maintenance, culinary, secretaries, etc. That means everyone.

An educated staff will culminate in LTC savings, better clinical outcomes and improved patient quality of life. Instruction can come from college/vocational classes, in service, on line classes and continual cooperation and communication with the staff.  All to often people are too reactionary instead of coming from a standpoint of understanding and acting on what they have learned.

One of the sessions summarized addressing adverse situations in four steps. Plan, Do, Check and Act. This was presented as a cycle. So once you get to ACT, you start again at PLAN.  There has to be a given awareness though instilled in the individual for this to happen. Reinforcement in a positive way is a good start.

Communication is key. One session talked about Active Telling, Active Listening, Checking Understanding, Checking for Reactivity and Reflection. So we are always improving in how we talk to one another.

We must admit that a person rarely sees how they appear to others. If a person is unprofessional, in their eyes they probably don’t see a problem. They will continue behaving that way until this issue is addressed. By addressing it, everybody benefits including the person involved, the staff and most of all our residents. 

Much of what I witnessed and learned at this conference is in line with our myCare initiative. This program is geared toward customer satisfaction and what I saw from every Disney employee and the programs I attended seemed focused on the same.

We at iCare, which comprises people, as Disney does, should recognize that every employee, from the receptionist at the front desk to the administrator represents our organization. So what we do everyday we are reminded that  “Experience of Care Matters”.

Emma Duquette BSN RN, RAC-CT, CDP, CDONA