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on April 11, 2005
Like many Disney rides, you have to wait a bit to get this book on amazon (I purchased mine directly from the publisher). But it's worth the wait. I attended the ACHE Conference in 3/2005 where the book was named the "2005 Book of the Year."

Fred Lee has written a fantastic book in "If Disney Ran Your Hospital." Not only is it a well-written book (Lee uses memorable examples, stories, and graphs to illustrate his points), but also he has chosen an outstanding topic. We need more books like this - learning from the best from other industries. Lee effectively builds the bridge, taking Disney corporate realities and turning them into approaches and strategies that hospital leaders can easily digest and apply in their hospitals.

Some of the concepts definitely stretch my current mindset on customer service (and after reading the book, you might even stop using that term). Lee talks about why perceptions are more important than reality, patient loyalty is more important than satisfaction, courtesy is more important than efficiency, and experience is more important than service. He also spends some time addressing the shortfalls of patient satisfaction surveys and competitive incentives for employees. All for the sake of his true focus of the book: to "bring out the best behaviors in workers and provide the best emotional experience for patients."

For those that are experts in services marketing or world-class hotel corporate culture, some of the concepts will be old news. Nonetheless, the way Lee specifically applies these concepts to the hospital setting is truly magical and novel.
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on December 15, 2006
I agree with everyone else about how good this book is. I have been working full time in quality improvement for 12 years, and I was expecting just a rehashing of the same old theories that I have become too accustomed to hearing about. To my surprise, the book was fresh and deep and I literally learned something new on every single page - It is 216 pages long and at $27 that's about 13 cents per insight; a real bargain, I think. Oh, and remarkably it's also quite an easy read due to the excellent stories and intuitive presentation (but you may want to slow down a bit to let the lessons sink in).
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on October 2, 2006
Ok. Let us consider it realistically and professionally. Nothing to say about the book more than what all others have said. Simply great. However, enjoying a book is not, and will never be, a goal in itself. What matters is what benefit you can get out of IMPLEMENTING what is in it.

In our case, this can be done on two conditions. The first and simple one is that everyone (I mean it) in your hospital should read and understand the book (this includes housekeepers, security guards, gardeners, ..etc).

Now comes the second and difficult condition, that is creating a culture, a working environment, an atmosphere that adopts and supports the values and ideas in the book. Unfortunately, at least to me, this seems impossible.

I am not saying that culture change or improvement is impossible. Go ahead. Do your best. We all should. I am trying to point out that trying to implement what is in the book will lead you to find out that you actually are trying to create "the city of virtues". No one could. No one will ever be able to.

A wise management professional once said: "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is!".

Read this book at any cost. Buy it, borrow it, or even steal it!
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on February 14, 2007
"But I'm not in the hospital business." Neither am I. But I am a Disney Institute alumnus and an avid practitioner of the Disney Approach to People Management, Quality Service, and Loyalty; and I've found "If Disney Ran Your Hospital" more helpful than anything else in print. I think you will, too. Here's why. A number of books explain the principles and practices that drive Disney. Most are helpful, and one, "Be Our Guest" by the Disney Institute, is indispensable. But Fred Lee does one thing better than anyone else: he models how to transfer those principles to another industry. That's what he did at the Disney Institute and that's what he will help you do in your business. Granted, his applications come from healthcare. But along the way Fred Lee demonstrates how to translate and apply the Disney Approach outside of the Disney setting, and that's what's so helpful--he provides an example that the rest of us can follow. If you're interested in benchmarking the Disney Approach, you need this book. One more thing: Fred Lee can write. "If Disney Ran Your Hospital" is the best book on the Disney Approach...period.
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on January 8, 2006
I have been a Lean Production Systems Practitioner for over twenty years and have had the privilege of learning from some of the original teachers of Lean in the United States. I have been influenced by Deming, Juran, Goldratt, Peters, Covey, Kotter, Drucker, Greenleaf, Senge and many other authors on leadership and management of change and continuous improvement and organizational learning. I first read Fred Lee's book as I began a project to implement lean systems in several hospitals. "If Disney Ran Your Hospital" ranks as one of my favorite books on not only excellence in customer service but on leadership and organizational development. I especially enjoyed the discussion in Chapter 10 of the "Five Traps" that organizations and its leaders must avoid.
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on December 19, 2005
This book rates as one of my favorites, which says a lot for a book I read for work! It's even one I refer back to a lot, another thing I don't too often do.

I find that many people at the hospital I work at love what they do and are creative in trying to make it better. And somehow almost everything we work on can be improved by ideas covered in this book. From motivating employees, to customer satisfaction, to empathy, to communicating just about anything, this book shares concepts that have greatly impacted how we present ideas. Although most of these topics have been covered many times before, Lee finds a way to bring in new ideas and offers suggestions really easy to implement in our day-to-day projects.

Our hospital ordered copies and distributed it to many of us, which is a great thing as after I read it I found myself making sure others read it, or at least referring them to certain sections I thought would be helpful on a project if they hadn't gotten there yet.

If there is one book I'd recommend to anyone in health care, this would be it!
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on May 25, 2007
This book is specifically targeted towards customer service in hospital settings, but it is very easy to apply the ideas to other situations. There are also discussions of units with only internal customers, and these sections are broadly applicable to government, business and non-profit organizations.
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VINE VOICEon March 6, 2013
This book is getting a little long in the tooth now...but if you're a hospital exec looking to get a better handle on your customer satisfaction / net promotor scores, it is essential in my opinion. It's a great reminder of the "early days" of customer sat in healthcare, and really sets the groundwork for things like Value Based Purchasing.

The book is a good read, easy and fast. It is written in a conversational tone and gives great, specific examples. It can be ACTED UPON quickly. I enjoy reading it.

However, I'm now finding that it's easier for me to "read" business books via audiobook. Great way to spend my time in the car. The conversational tone of this book really lends itself to the audio format. The narrator is the author, Fred Lee. He's good at conveying the meaning of his book and overall is good. Occasionally, he trips over words and his voice is not exactly "radio star" quality. And the music that leads in and out of each chapter is AWFUL. But these are minor complaints compared to the value I get from having these discs.

The audience for this product is tiny...but if you're in that audience, you NEED this (either CDs, book or both). It's time well-spent helping to refocus on what TRULY makes your customers (patients) loyal and satisfied.
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VINE VOICEon November 30, 2011
This is a great book for anyone in a service industry to read. It's thought provoking and clearly organized with a number of illustrative examples and stories. The writing is by no means literary, but it is not poorly written. It has real substance which sets it apart from many similar books. Although the vignette in each chapter are helpful, at times they are verbose and so numerous as to obscure the central teaching of any given chapter. The book would be better if the "human interest stories" were cut back significantly.

The substance/rules/"things" are really tools for thinking about the problems you face when running a hospital and striving for service excellence, rather than implementable solutions to those problems. This is both the book's greatest strength and greatest weakness. The author closes by cautioning readers not to fall into the "great ideas but how do I implement them" trap. This is sophomoric. Although no reasonable reader will expect tailor made solutions, trimming the gratuitous congratulatory mentions of various nurse managers and spending more time on the details underlying their success would have been helpful.

Bottom Line: Good use of money and time, would recommend.

Cliff Notes:
- What people believe is more important than the truth
- Organize around courtesy not efficiency
- You want loyal patients (5/5) not satisfied (>3/5) patients
- Experience is king, A fancy coffee shop can sell a cup of coffee for more than a dinner and more than the cost of raw materials
- Find people who intrinsically want to do well and tap into that desire. You can't use extrinsic motivate to make them care.
- Habits are the best intrinsic motivation, imagination and willpower of less effective, compliance is least effective.
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I attended a lecture by Fred Lee, where he discussed some of the points brought up in his 9 1/2 Things book, and I was very impressed. First of all, I am a huge Disney fan, and I know that the Disney method transcends the typical service model, and focuses on the entire process as an "experience".

Mr. Lee, in this very insightful book, delves into how this can be applied to healthcare. And why should it not be applied to healthcare? In healthcare, there is a tremendous opportunity for caring and competent people to turn a frightening and intrusive process into an experience.

Sure, going to the hospital will never be a fun trip like a trip to Disney would be, but it can be one that is memorable for the RIGHT reasons rather than memorable for the WRONG reasons.

There are so many pieces of valuable information in this book that you'll need to keep it readily available as a reference tool.
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