Fred Lee blended his experiences with Disney and hospitals and wrote a very thought provoking book.  In it, he questions some longstanding beliefs and misguided approaches.  Anyone with an interest in the patient experience really should read the entire book.

In this post, I'd like to focus in on some of the ideas that really struck me.  Some have been my long term beliefs and at times I did feel a bit lonely.  Others prompted me to shift my thinking.

  • Marketing is trying to have what people want.  Selling is getting people to want what you have! This must explain why I've never been good at selling, but have been successful in getting customers to choose my hospital.
  • On surveys (Press Ganey, Gallup, etc) the questions with the highest correlation between likelihood to recommend and overall satisfaction with their hospital are mostly related to how one is treated as a person and not clinical competencies.  When I check into the hospital, the baseline is that I expect them to be competent!
  • The skill sets for managing perceptions and improving outcomes are different.  The first step to being successful at both is to recognize this.
  • "You never pass another individual in the hallways without greeting that person with a smile."  I learned this from my second administrator who only raised his head to smile and acknowledge the doctors.  He was wrong and I knew I needed to be different!
  • Effective leaders set following priorities and I like these:  1. Safety 2. Courtesy 3. Show 4. Efficiency
  • "Accountabilities drive structure and structure drives culture."
  • Measure customer loyalty, not just satisfaction. Even if I was "satisfied" with an experience, I may still decide to try a competitor next time.
  • The concept of theater!  I'm truly shy by nature, but early on I knew I needed to go beyond my comfort zone to truly fulfill my role.  I often thought about how my professional persona was much different from my personal persona.  I now understand the theater mixed with some real empathy is what helps us to effect perceptions.
  • Being dissatisfied is a natural part of realizing improvements.