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If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently – Book Review

If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently – Book Review

Fred Lee has a great story-telling talent and a unique combination of first-hand experience of working at both hospital and Disney. This book compares their workflows and cultures and teaches us how to design modern hospital patient interactions for success. It turns out that his lessons are directly applicable to our business.

Whenever a medical billing service owner comes to me for “billing software” they usually mean software to manage what they had. I, on the other had, want to understand how their service is designed and delivered and what the practice owner (their customer) and the patient (their customer’s customer) would expect. It seems to me that if the billing service is sub-par, outdated, or not profitable, we should consider redesigning it before automating it. I believe that the worst you can do to a poorly delivered service is to scale it up and exacerbate an already negative customer experience by delivering it faster to more customers. This often does not sit well with billing service owners who see my expertise limited to selling my software and see my questions about their business approach and growth, compliance, and convenience as needlessly intrusive.

You would think that a billing service owner has a much more difficult customer than Disney; the risk of client loss is higher; the medical billing environment is much more complex with many more non-standard situations. At Disney, the customers start our happy and excited instead of upset and underpaid. They stand in lines but not worried about their insurance claims, patient referrals, or compliance. They take a ride that’s duplicated a million times while every new payer is a unique experience. Meanwhile practice operations, technology, and legal costs are growing. Disney looks like a picnic compared to the nightmare the billing and practice managers face every day in a hostile payer environment over which we have very little of the kind of control we would have at Disney.

Using examples from his work at both Disney and as a senior-level hospital executive, Fred Lee challenges the assumptions that have defined customer service in healthcare. In this unique book, he discovers the key similarities between Disney and hospitals – both provide an “experience,” not just a service. It shows how any business can emulate the strategies that earn Disney the trust and loyalty of their guests and employees.

This book also shows how standard service excellence initiatives in healthcare have not led to high patient satisfaction and loyalty, and defines 10 principles to help ant business gain the competitive advantage that comes from being seen as “the best” by their own employees, consumers, and community.

This book is practical and profound. Instantly useful.