Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Katie Baca-Motes, co-founder of the Scripps Research Digital Trials Center. She is also the senior director for Scripps Research’s strategic initiatives. They talk about the best Walt Disney Imagineering concepts and practices that can be applied to improve medicine and healthcare.
Lessons from Walt Disney Imagineers
After graduating from business school, Katie had the opportunity to work at Walt Disney. Being an imagineer entailed behind the scenes work such as producing special effects, conceptualizing rides, or in Katie’s case, researching behavioral economics and consumer behavior.
Drawing on her past experiences as an imagineer, Katie believes there’s a lot of approaches that can be applied to healthcare. One of them was “blue sky thinking” where you are encouraged to think outside the box. For the moment, forget all the realistic constraints in order to come up with innovative solutions. Another thing they did at Disney was that they involved different departments during brainstorming. It was a way to learn and understand multiple perspectives. If clinicians and medical professionals can think big and acknowledge other voices, then healthcare would be much better off.
Caring for and Empowering Patients
Katie also believes that taking inspiration from Disney’s naming convention can help improve healthcare. At Disney, customers are called “guests”, which already shifts the way its staff members treat them. Staff members are not just crew personnel, their title motivates them to create the best experience possible for guests. Similarly, if we can give empowering labels and put patients at the center of care, then we can provide the best care possible.
You can watch Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s talk about Disney and Healthcare on the TEDx YouTube.
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