1. Scale of market entities – is healthcare intangible dominant or tangible dominant? In contrast to tangible dominant offerings that can be felt, tasted, and seen, the healthcare services that are offered by the hospital can be categorized as intangible dominant.
This intangible service is largely characterized by interactions with healthcare professionals, education on health conditions, and ultimately a better quality of health. Though the offering is primarily intangible, if the hospital is to be successful they should integrate a few tangible aspects to the offering.
If the end goal of the service is to tend to the needs of the patient’s health through a primarily intangible offering, tangible elements such as medical equipment, patient care supplies, comfort items or foods, and a clean hospital environment are all important to be incorporated in the overall service experience.
2. The survuction model: The servicescape consists of the physical, visible evidence that defines the service environment. The hospital had physical elements such as official forms, hospital building facilities, hospital machines and equipment, and various supplies and materials provided in the NICU and Grower Room.
The patients reported a great experience in the NICU, as they had an abundance of supplies including blankets, personalized birthday cards, and pictures. Unfortunately, the private room the couple stayed in on the fourth floor was described as “small, dingy, and dirty”.
Furthermore, when the father-to-be was stationed in an empty hospital room on a stool by himself, he characterized his wait as a “very long 10 to 12 minutes” until he could be brought to the delivery room. The aforementioned visible evidence greatly affected the couple’s perception of the hospital experience both positively and negatively.
Because the needs of patients are so vast in delivery services, Dr. ’s Baker, Johnson, Arthur, and all the various nurses throughout the different departments can be considered primary service providers. Contact personnel were individuals that had brief interactions with the patients through their experience, including the security guard, the resident, and the hospital volunteers. Other customers can certainly be viewed as potentially diminishing the service experience in a delivery.
The hospital did a relatively good job of keeping the parents isolated from other customers, with the exception of the father-to-be hearing loud screams from another patient in his holding room as he waited to be taken to the delivery room with his wife. The hospital furthermore had several behind-the-scenes operations that occurred.
These invisible organizations and systems included regulatory mandates on maximum labor hours, forms that documented personal information, maximum occupancy policies for the NICU and the Grower Room, parking policies, and required hospital equipment.
3. See attached page for Molecular Model.
4. Suggestions for an overall improvement in the service: The couple’s first experience of having newborn babies came unexpected amidst severe warnings of a hurricane at 5:20 AM; the mother’s water had broken and the baby was being born 13 weeks early. The delivery was high risk, not only due to the premature nature of the newborns, but also because the pregnancy was multiple-birth (twins). As this is a high-stress moment for any future parent, and ones with complex situations in particular, the overall service experience should be as easy, informational, safe, and stress-free as possible.
As the couple arrives to the hospital, someone with a wheelchair should greet them in a friendly manner on hand. They should also hopefully be receiving some sort of ‘orientation’ guide and list of what to expect on their special day. The information-gathering phase should be seamless and streamlined. The hospital can work with their IT department to create one form that can store all the patient data in a database for any purpose of future reference. In regards to unfortunate required shift changes, the confusion can be minimized by properly communicating the change in advanced to the patients upon their check-in.
The same advanced communication can apply to the presence of residents in tending to the patient before the doctor arrives, which will ensure a patient is at least more comfortable with who is taking care of them. The patients reported a lack of consistency in the quality of their interactions with doctors and nurses. There was an assumption from the hospital that the patients understood the various rolls of the different doctors and nurses. This can once again be resolved by adequate advanced communication. Dr. Arthur did a great job at calmly explaining things to the patients.
Nurses in the delivery room were both good and bad, nurses in the NICU were exceptional, and nurses in the Grower Room were poor. Better training in patient interaction as well as hiring better nurses is extremely important in resolving some of the customer-service related issues in the various nurses. One of the primary reasons the departments are so fragmented is because they are on different budgets and most likely report to different people. The hospital can create a more cohesive effort by eliminating multiple budgets and creating stricter holdings and transfer requirements between rooms that frequently work together.