The 9 1/2 principles in this highly personal and refreshingly written book will help any hospital team gain the extraordinary competitive advantage that comes from being seen as “the best” by their own employees, consumers, and community.  It takes profound knowledge, not usually taught in business schools, to create and maintain an environment where people feel they are working with friends who share a common dream of making patients and communities their loyal fans. A place where...

Employees say, “I love to work here.”

Managers say, “I love the people I work with.”

Caregivers say, “I love our patients.”

Patients and families say, “We love this hospital.”

Loyalty is an organization’s best source of long-term strategic advantage. But unlike traditional service organizations, Disney does not provide a service. Neither does your hospital. They both provide an “experience.”  Disney is the premier example of this newly evolved economic category and hospitals would do well to emulate the most vital things that earn Disney the love of their guests and employees.

Like his popular seminars, in these pages Fred Lee addresses the vexing reality that most of our approaches to patient satisfaction will not lead to patient loyalty. He takes aim at service excellence initiatives, quality and performance improvement efforts, and patient satisfaction surveys, dispelling some of our most cherished beliefs about loyalty and leadership.

This captivating book, filled with actual hospital stories and examples, will leave its readers inspired with fresh insights and energized with hope.  It needs to be in every hospital manager’s library and required reading in every healthcare leadership curriculum. If you have wondered why so much of what is done in the name of service excellence in healthcare has not lived up to its promise, this book is for you.

If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 ½ Things You Would Do Differently was awarded the 2005 James A. Hamilton Book of the Year form the American College of Healthcare Executives.

I just bought your book If Disney Ran Your Hospital and cannot put it down.  I have been in the healthcare industry in some fashion since the mid-80s and cannot tell you how this book has opened my eyes to the things we do every day that just do not make sense.

Recently I have been doing much soul-searching on personal and professional growth.  I have joined numerous organizations, taken many courses, and read book after book on improvement and quality.  During the last few days I have learned more from reading your book than all of the other methods combined.

I would like to recommend to my company your book become mandatory reading material for all associates.  It is fantastic.  I have become a big fan of yours and can't wait to read more.

Since I spend hours driving or flying to client sites I plan on buying the CD so I can listen to this book.  I am sure this will become my all-time favorite book and will become worn quickly.

Thank you and keep writing.


What an amazing book. After only two nights, I'm half way through it. If I didn't have kids that required customer service each night, I probably would have finished it by now.

Chapter 3 made so much sense. I loved your quote that read, "Loyalty is generated by memorable things that happen that we didn't expect." I'm exactly one of those people who rate companies as 4's when nothing special happens. The chapter made me think of my trip to Hawaii about 6 months back. Toward the end of our stay, my family ate at one of the restaurants at the resort where we were staying and my wife ordered a tropical drink. When the drink arrived, my youngest son begged my wife for the cherry and she passed it on to him. The server noticed it and seconds later came back with whole bowl of cherries for my son and really made his night but that wasn't the most memorable moment. After dinner was served, the same server asked us about the food. Everything was good but my oldest son wanted to know if there was any other bread because the rolls were too dry. He told her he really like the bread at the other restaurant at the resort. She indicated that this was all they had, apologized, and disappeared. A few minutes later she returned with a bread basket from the other restaurant. Later I found out she took the initiative to leave the restaurant, leave the building, and go across the resort, down an escalator, through the other restaurant, and retrieve some bread from the other kitchen. That server took an average restaurant and average meal and made it outstanding for us. The food typically wouldn't attract us back but that level of service will.
You could not be more right about memorable moments!

Comments from Sutter Health Nursing Leadership:

"As a bedside nurse, his presentation really rang true for me."

"This was an excellent presentation. Fred is an excellent motivational speaker. The entire day was very worthwhile."

"I feel I now have concrete actions that I can take back to the institution and apply."
"This was the best presentation I've seen in years."

"All of this presentation was good. You re-energized me!"

"The entire day was outstanding. The content was so meaningful and examples were applicable.  It provided me with insight as to how to make meaningful experiences for patients/visitors and how to approach staff about the meaning/impact of their role."

"I would like to see this presentation taken to all levels of employees across all departments."

"Every part of the presentation gave me valuable, real, and actionable ideas.  It gave me a broader perspective on many of the system initiatives we've tried to adopt."

"Presentation gave me a new way to look at my management style. Section on handling irate people was very helpful."

"Mr. Lee made such sense. I've been a manager for almost 20 years and I was delighted by his presentation."

"This presentation showed us exactly where we are right now. These models showed me what we need to do to move forward."

"Thank you for giving a bit more logical perspective to Studer."

"Lots of great ideas that I can use to take back to my job. Funny-great delivery and great stories."

"This was the best presentation I've attended in a very long time. Thank you for an inspiring day."

"Realistic, logical approach to getting results. Common sense, not fluff! Enjoyed each minute. This was refreshing compared to being "Studerized".  Mr. Lee relays reality based, achievable goals."

"Very dynamic speaker, great presentation."

"This was the most constructive healthcare management conference I have ever attended. I have been a registered nurse for 26 years. This combines the very best of being at the bedside with patients with management. Thank you! Awesome and memorable experience."

"The whole day was valuable! It gave me another way to communicate needed change in my service line."

Comments from the 21st Annual Achieving Success in Women’s Health
San Antonio, Texas


"Great choice for an opening session. Thanks."


"I would like to have listened to him longer. Awesome speaker and motivator!"

"WOW! Lots of great information to take back to my hospital."

"Exceptional speaker, content, usefulness."

"Keep him longer."

"Awesome! He was fabulous! I got a great deal out of his presentation."

"Great! I could have listened to him for more than an hour."

"Great conference opener."

"I enjoyed Fred’s presentation tremendously. We are already going through his book—one chapter at a time. Great presentation."

"Appreciated all the stories and sense of humor."

"Great and very motivational."

"Very good and energizing."

"Wonderful speaker, would love to have him back."

"High energy—contagious enthusiasm!"

"This was an awesome presentation. There were so many good ideas generated in a short time."

"Fred Lee was energetic and very insightful."

"He had a lot of information to share and a great way of presenting to keep the audience’s attention."

"One of the best presentations that I have ever attended."

"Excellent information—we will incorporate changes in what we do in patient satisfaction."


"I could listen to him all day."

"Fred was wonderful. Introduced a new concept to customer service evaluations."

"Excellent and inspiring."

"Great speaker! Loved the discussion of satisfaction. Good suggestions for managers."

"Excellent way to open the conference. Mr. Lee was energetic and engaging."

"Fred was excellent and the information was very timely."

"Very engaging and motivated me to improve my management."

"Fred was absolutely wonderful. He verified my suspicions that I was unable to find data on."

"Outstanding, wonderful, right on, can take it home!"

"Very dynamic! I left feeling motivated and that I walked away with something I can apply in my daily work life."

"Clarifying and motivating."

"A nice twist and an interesting way to learn and remind us about compassion."

"My ‘experience’ is something that will motivate me to tell stories to many!"

"Timely presentation for me—we are restructuring our programs and we have lots of 4s on our satisfaction survey (yipes!)."

"A great speaker who gets the audience to think and jot down ideas to apply to personal situation."

"I could have listened to Fred longer. He gave us many things to look at that are related to going from good to great."

"Excellent, excellent presentation—energetic, purposeful, excellent examples."

"Dynamic, inspiring, great examples of how to illustrate salient points."

"Excellent material, I can use it to modify some of the Studer requirements that have been mandated."

"Good speaker and did not make any negative comments regarding the Studer approach to service."

"I have great stories from your presentation and new ideas to bring back on how move our patient experience from good to great."

"Fantastic! Uplifting! Great, fresh, new—got away from the old ‘service talk.’"

"I cannot recall a speaker receiving such outstanding evaluations in our 31-year history of developing conferences. You were the WOW! factor of this conference. What an accomplished and effective speaker you are! Thank you so much for helping make our 21st Annual Achieving Success in Women’s Health the best ever.

And it is particularly gratifying for me to know that you have evolved your commitment to customer service to such a high level of success. I remember the early days when you focused (with much success) on topics like complaint recovery and so on. You have come a long way and are now clearly the national leader on the next level of customer service management in healthcare."

Richard Ireland
Snowmass Institute

"Fred's book and presentation (to the management staff of our three hospitals, health plan, and related businesses) was profound. His impact did not end after his presentation, that's when it began. It has been months now since Fred was here and not a day goes by that we're not referencing him or implementing one of his concepts."

Valerie Holloway
Vice President of Customer Service
Health First
Melbourne, Florida

"I read Fred Lee's book about a year ago, while on vacation. As I paged through it, I found myself agreeing with about everything he said. When I returned, our organization decided to use it as ‘must reading’ for all our managers. Since then, we invited Fred Lee to come present to us, and over 300 people were privileged to hear him speak. We found him to be very open, very real, very human. He reminded us of why we got into healthcare in the first place. The impact of Fred Lee and his book on our organization, as we move from patient satisfaction to patient experience, has been major. We've ordered 500 more copies of the book, and are finding countless ways to apply Fred's ideas within our 4 hospital organization. "

Mike Halseth
Valley Health
Winchester, Virginia

"Fred Lee came to Knoxville, Tennessee, in July of 2004 and presented a seminar for about 350 healthcare professionals at the invitation of our East Tennessee Friendly Access Coalition. He kept the entire group spellbound from about 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with his message about creating a professional team that includes every employee carrying out equal responsibility for client-focused care. His imagery is compelling and sure to lead to changes for the better in our healthcare system."

Ann Ince, Chair
East Tennessee Friendly Access Coalition

"I found Fred Lee's book If Disney Ran Your Hospital during an Internet search last fall and ordered it online. After reading his book over a weekend I absolutely connected with his strong message. I immediately ordered several copies for the remaining members of our senior management team and discussed my thoughts with them the following Monday. They read the book and we concluded that Fred needed to come to our organization and speak to the members of our management team. After speaking with Fred and scheduling a visit, he came to Palmetto Health Richland in February. Although slightly skeptical about bringing in a speaker to meet with 200+ members of the management team for an 8-hour retreat, we could not have been more thrilled with the day and the subsequent outcome of his time with our organization. I've heard many speakers in the past ten years and none of them compare to Fred. His message resonated with our organization and his unique way of integrating personal stories into his message sets him apart from others. I would recommend him to any organization (other than those in our service area)! The benefit of his time with us cannot be quantified, but I assure you we would love to have him back. I told him not to forget Palmetto Health Richland because we discovered him prior to his winning the book of the year award from the American College of Healthcare Executives in March!"

John J. Singerling
Vice President, Operations
Palmetto Health Richland
Columbia, South Carolina

"Fred: All I can say is ‘WOW!’ Our goal was to provide a customer service program for the hospitals in Minnesota that would help them tackle the often challenging role of ‘exceeding customer service.’ Your program not only met, but exceeded that goal. I have never had a program that sold out 5 times in a row!

Your grasp of the topic and your delivery of the material was not only educational, it was engaging and entertaining—which is the best way to learn. It was obvious from your delivery of the material that you have a passion for wanting to help hospitals be the best they can be. Your presentation, coupled with your book If Disney Ran Your Hospital provides the foundation and follow through any hospital would need to create an in-house customer service program.

Thank you for the opportunity to engage our hospitals in such a dynamic experience."

Peggy Westby
Vice President
Minnesota Hospital Association

“When If Disney Ran Your Hospital ... arrived, I skimmed it—like I do with more than 60 books a year. Then, on a coast-to-coast flight, I read every page with a hi-liter in hand. Uncommon wisdom, high-leverage advice. The book is now required reading for graduate students taking my course in health services marketing at the University of Washington. Bravo, Fred!”

Dennis D. Pointer, PhD, Austin Ross Professor,
Department of Health Services, University of Washington

"This groundbreaking work challenges several assumptions that have defined the customer service philosophy for healthcare. Filled with illuminating cases from the author's experience, it is a ‘must-read’ for those who want intelligent, caring, and responsible ethics to define how those served by healthcare should be treated. I highly recommend it."

James J. Londis, PhD
Director of Ethics and Corporate Integrity
Kettering Medical Center Network

“I wish I had read this book when I was a hospital CEO. I would have given one to every employee.”

Jerry F. Pogue
President & CEO of Tributary Healthcare

"Fred Lee's message speaks to the heart of nursing leadership. This is exactly what nurse executives are looking for...a practical guide with vivid illustrations and profound insights that can be put to use immediately. It goes to the core of leadership in a healing environment and will inspire nurses at every level of the organization."

Pamela Thompson
CEO Association of Nurse Executives

"There are three stages of knowledge: First, simplicity borne of ignorance. ‘Oh, that's simple...’ from the person who doesn't understand what they are talking about. Second, complexity borne of understanding—when one realizes a subject is far more complex than it first appears on the surface. Third, simplicity borne of profound understanding. Only a few get to this lofty state. Fred Lee is among that elite group. He displays a profound understanding of what quality service is all about."

Dean Hubbard
President of Southwest Missouri State University and
National Malcolm Baldrige Award Examiner

"Fred Lee is one of the most insightful people I know regarding leadership development and building customer loyalty. Our management team has rated him as one of the best speakers to ever present to our organization."

R. Lynn Wilson
Former President & CEO of BryanLGH Health System

"I highly recommend Fred Lee to anyone who is serious about exceptional service. He has provided consultation and training to the employees, physicians, and leadership of Metroplex Adventist Hospital for many years. His style of presentation is clear, practical, and very effective."

Ken Finch
President and CEO of Adventist Health Region Southwest

“This book is a must read for any healthcare provider, especially physicians. Fred Lee’s approach is direct and refreshing. It truly requires a cultural change for every department.”

Larry Sullivan, MD
Director of Emergency Services
Decatur General Hospital

"He bridges the principles of customer experience between the entertainment and healthcare industries."

Jim Gravel
Executive VP and COO of Mercy Health Partners

"Fred Lee writes and speaks with a passion for quality patient care. This book is an easy read that makes sense, and gives you tools to use for change now."

Carol Kunau
VP of Patient Care Services
Portland Adventist Medical Center

"Fred Lee is exceptional! His real-life experiences combined with his intellect, compassion, and courage create an unforgettable experience for anyone who hears his message."

Kimberly Palazzi
JCAHO & Service Excellence Coordinator
Hunterdon Medical Center

"This vision for 21st century healthcare challenges us to provide a new and holistic level of service, which includes caring for the spiritual as well as physical needs of patients."

Dr. Richard Callaway
Chaplain of East Tennessee Children's Hospital

"Fred Lee has a deep understanding of patient loyalty and his work is grounded in practical experience that goes far beyond customer service training to cultural transformation. Fred has made a lasting impression and a dramatic difference in our multi-hospital system and has changed many lives for the better through his understanding of motivation, proactive responsibility, and empathy in healthcare."

Terry Ritchey
VP of Patient Care
Parker Adventist Hospital
Centura Health

Home | About The Author | About The Book | Inspire Your Organization | Fred's Legacy

Copyright 2010-2017 - Fred Lee and Associates, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Order Online:

Available in
Hardcover & Softcover

Also Available:

Audio CD Set
8 CD or 2 MP3 Format

Two Day Lecture Series
on DVD Format