Earlier this month, The Walt Disney Company CEO and Chairman Bob Iger announced Disney plans to commit more than $100 million in company resources, including cash, products and services over the next five years to reinvent the patient and family experience in children’s hospitals across the globe. “Disney’s timeless stories have touched hearts and lifted spirits for generations, and we believe they can bring comfort to children and families going through a very difficult time,” said Iger. “Using the powerful combination of our beloved characters and legendary creativity, we’re planning to transform the patient experience in children’s hospitals around the world—creating a personalized and engaging atmosphere that will inspire young patients and ease the stress of a hospital stay.”
The company plans to introduce a rich array of distinctly “Disney” elements into children’s hospitals. For that reason Disney is working with a panel of medical experts, including doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, parents and child life professionals from around the world to advise on the best ways to create a comforting atmosphere that is personal, warm and entertaining for the young patients and their families. The current plans include:
- A new RFID-based system allowing patients to customize their hospital visit by choosing their favorite Disney stories and characters, which will surround them during their stay. The system will also unlock special elements to further personalize and enhance the experience, such as “enchanted” artwork that comes alive.
- Themed treatment and patient rooms featuring interactive murals of Disney stories, bed linens and gowns featuring each child’s favorite characters, and personalized in-room entertainment. Additionally, well stocked mobile “play carts” will include Disney-themed games and activities to give families something to do together to help alleviate stress and boredom.
- Disney first-run movies and television shows, available both in-room and in themed pop up movie theaters in the hospital, along with other Disney entertainment options.
- Disney customer-experience training for doctors, nurses and staff. The renowned Disney Institute will create a customized program for healthcare professionals designed to foster a less stressful, patient and family-centric hospital experience.
The first hospital to work with Disney is Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, because it is “the largest children’s hospital in the United States” and as such “it will add valuable insight in collaboration with Disney on these and other new experiences.”
“We are honored to be the inaugural hospital to collaborate with Disney on this exciting patient-focused initiative,” said Mark A. Wallace, President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital. “Patient care is at the center of our mission, and in addition to providing the highest-quality medical care to children, we strive to make the hospital experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for every patient and their family. We are looking forward to working with Disney to enhance our efforts in this area.”
“Disney stories and characters provide a shared vocabulary between our young patients and their medical team,” said Dr. James B. Fahner, M.D., F.A.A.P Division Chief, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital/Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a member of the panel working with Disney on this initiative. “The magic of Disney restores some childhood innocence during a very difficult time, and also allows us as caregivers to be at our very best. I can’t think of any company that is better suited to lead this type of work than Disney.”
Source: The Walt Disney Company