Click here to listen to Fred Lee's Interview on
Radio National Australia – September 26, 2012
Fred Lee has the enviable distinction of having been both a senior vice president of a major medical center and a cast member at Disney University. Disney recruited him because of his expertise in helping hospitals achieve a culture that inspires patient and employee loyalty. At Disney he helped develop and facilitate Disney’s 3-day seminar, Disney’s Approach to Quality Service for the Healthcare Industry. Using an insider’s experience and a keen eye for cultural comparisons, he authored If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 ½ Things You Would Do Differently, which was awarded the 2005 James A. Hamilton Book of the Year from the American College of Healthcare Executives. Since then, it has become the all-time best selling book on hospital leadership, and is available in four languages.
According to a 2009 Healthcare Advisory Board report, patient satisfaction scores have been stuck at about 82% for the past 10 years! Fred Lee tells audiences why. He bases his all-day seminars on four key premises:
1. We have reached the ceiling in how far we can go in improving patient perceptions with our current approach.
2. Hospitals cannot go from good (satisfaction) to great (loyalty) by simply teaching and hardwiring what they do at great service organizations. A hospital is not a service, and the ways in which we are different are more important than all the ways we are the same.
3. Culture is driven by management systems and priorities, not by workers or values.
4. Our patient satisfaction surveys, including HCAHPS, and how we report the data, focus on good, and actually make invisible the most important variables it takes to become great.
Mr. Lee’s seminars are dynamic, inspiring, and immensely practical. He motivates healthcare managers by talking their language, using real-life hospital examples, and having walked in their shoes.
Mr. Lee started his healthcare career as Director and then Vice President of Marketing and Development at Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City. Then he joined Florida Hospital in Orlando, now over 1800 beds. In the 1990s he became a trained Baldrige examiner and a consultant in Total Quality Management, instructing hospital facilitators in the Deming PDCA process improvement cycle.
In 2009 Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, won the national Malcolm Baldrige Award. The Chief Nursing Officer credits Fred Lee’s teachings with finally giving their managers, after a five-year journey copying what the best hospitals do, a new approach to patient perceptions that brought them breakthrough scores and put them over the top for the Baldrige Award.
After his experience at Disney and the success of his book, he has traveled nationally and internationally, conducting seminars for hospital leaders about how to take a culture from good to great using unique ideas from Disney that are not common in the service industry, or even in the most renown hospitals.