Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System [NOOK Book]



“Like any business, a hospital must be true to its core values in order to succeed. ‘Trickle-down values’ start at the top with the best leadership, so that all the stakeholders understand and carry out the institution’s mission. That is the gift that David F einberg has brought to U CLA. I am in awe of his management skills.”
—Lynda Resnick, owner of Pom Wonderful, Fiji Water, Teleflora, and Wonderful Pistachios

“With ...

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Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System

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“Like any business, a hospital must be true to its core values in order to succeed. ‘Trickle-down values’ start at the top with the best leadership, so that all the stakeholders understand and carry out the institution’s mission. That is the gift that David F einberg has brought to U CLA. I am in awe of his management skills.”
—Lynda Resnick, owner of Pom Wonderful, Fiji Water, Teleflora, and Wonderful Pistachios

“With clear purpose, unwavering principles, and steadfast leadership, the people at UCLA have established a new bar, a compelling promise, for what healthcare can and should be.”
—David M. Lawrence, M.D., former CEO, Kaiser Permanente

“An absorbing and educational account of a large institution’s astonishing transformation. The strong, courageous, and focused leadership of David Feinberg and his outstanding team is evident on every page. A tremendous lesson for all large enterprises.”
—William E. Simon, Jr., cochairman, William E. Simon & Sons

“Most leadership authors describe how to apply common-sense principles. Michelli is a notable exception. He artfully describes the compelling, uncommon leadership practices that transformed UCLA Health System. The resulting lessons are plentiful and powerful for today’s business leader.”
—Lee J. Colan, Ph.D., author of Sticking to It: The Art of Adherence

About the Book:

Joseph Michelli, author of The Starbucks Experience and The New Gold Standard, is among the world’s top authorities on the principles of creating an organizational culture dedicated to service excellence. In these bestselling books, he examines how leading service companies dominate their respective industries with innovative customerexperience strategies.

Now, Michelli turns his attention to one of the most complex, controversial, and critical industries—healthcare.

In Prescription for Excellence, Michelli provides an inside look at an organization that has become the envy of its industry—and explains how you can dominate your own industry by using the same approach.

UCLA Health System is revered worldwide for its top-tier patient/customer care. Great physicians, nurses, researchers, and staff are only part of the equation; UCLA’s overall success is a result of organization-wide collaboration that is driven by leaders with a shared vision of unyielding excellence. Michelli breaks down UCLA’s approach into five simple principles:

  • Commit to Care
  • Leave No Room for Error
  • Make the Best Better
  • Create the Future
  • Service Serves Us

From administrative offices to operating rooms to research centers, continued adherence to these five principles has guided UCLA to financial strength, social significance, and sustainability.

The best part is that these principles translate to any industry, so you, too, can achieve similar goals. Michelli gives you the tools to adapt UCLA’s ideas, systems, and leadership principles into your own best practices. Whether it is a healthcare organization, a financial institution, or a neighborhood hair salon, good business begins and ends with customer connection. When all workers in an organization focus on providing quality care for those they serve, success inevitably follows.

Business is always personal; UCLA’s leadership ensures that this simple truth drives every UCLA employee, every day. Apply the lessons Michelli spells out in Prescription for Excellence to create a system that ensures that your people take business personally, day in and day out.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071773904
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Publication date: 5/24/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 425,948
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., is the bestselling author of The Starbucks Experience, The New Gold Standard, and The Zappos Experience. He is an internationally sought-after speaker and organizational consultant who has been featured on The Glenn Beck Show and CNBC’s On the Money.

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Read an Excerpt

Prescription for Excellence

Leadership Lessons for Creating a World-Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System


The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Copyright © 2011The Regents of the University of California and UCLA Health System
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-07-177390-4



The UCLA Health System Experience: What Everyone Can Learn from Greatness in Healthcare

Greatness is so often a courteous synonym for great success.

—Philip Guedalla

Imagine having to run a successful business that requires the innovation of Apple, the commitment to safety of NASA, and the customer service of Ritz-Carlton. Furthermore, imagine that your mandate demands that you be a world-class educator, your work product holds life and death in the balance, and you are responsible for discoveries that shape the future of medicine. But wait; there's more! You have to achieve your complex mission in a highly political, cost-competitive industry. From imagination to reality, you are about to dive deeply into the challenges and leadership lessons of UCLA Health System!

While a book about a premier medical research and training center is obviously relevant for anyone who is in healthcare, its appropriateness for other industries might not be readily apparent. In fact, you may be asking: what does UCLA Health System, a leader in a complicated and often maligned sector of our economy, have to offer me if my business is banking, retail, hospitality, or something else? The short, albeit incomplete, answer is how to

• Catapult your business to preeminence at an unusually rapid pace.

• Transform the satisfaction and engagement of your customers through a service-centric approach.

• Achieve meteoric profitability during economic downturns—despite aggressive competition.

• Achieve decades of recognition as a quality and safety leader.

• Create revolutionary improvement in your employee engagement and empowerment.

• Redesign, elevate, and humanize your customer experience.

Despite having a background working as an organizational development specialist, when UCLA approached me to write this book I was initially skeptical about whether UCLA Health System would be the "right" source for business lessons. (Of course, my cynicism may have been amplified by my not having been accepted by UCLA's graduate school years ago, and instead having attended its crosstown rival USC.)

For me, an author of books about businesses that provide great customer and employee experiences, such as the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Starbucks Coffee and Tea Company, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, UCLA Health System seemed an unlikely subject for a book. Suffice it to say that my experiences with the UCLA leadership convinced me that these lessons needed to be told. In fact, the profits from this book will be donated to Operation Mend (more on this program in Chapter 11) in support of UCLA Health System's overall mission.

Are you ready to learn from one of America's top healthcare systems, owned by 30 million citizens of California, with 4 hospitals; more than 75 clinics; in excess of 80,000 inpatient hospital contacts; 1,000,000 clinic visits annually; 1,500 physicians; 1,500 residents and fellows; 3,500 nurses, therapists, technologists, and support personnel; 1,000 volunteers; 120 physicians cited in the "Best Doctors in America" poll; and a world-renowned medical school that is among the top 10 in the nation in medical-research funding, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA? If so, your lessons are about to begin. But let's first examine UCLA Health System's humble start and rapid ascent to the top tier of medical excellence.


Traditionally, centers of medical excellence were found in the northeastern and Great Lakes regions of the United States, with highly revered institutions such as Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As World War II came to a close, however, a group of physicians began pressuring the University of California to create a premier medical center in southern California. In response to these influential physicians, the University of California Board of Regents voted in 1945 to appropriate $7 million to fund a medical school at UCLA.

In 1947, Stafford L. Warren, a professor from the University of Rochester Medical School in New York, was appointed as the UCLA medical school's first dean. Picking a handful of exceptional faculty leaders from the University of Rochester and Johns Hopkins, UCLA School of Medicine began without a hospital or advanced research facilities. Scientists instead worked in temporary Quonset huts in distant locations around the campus. As construction of the new medical center began in 1951, the first UCLA School of Medicine class was being admitted. Fifteen faculty members provided courses to 28 students—26 men and 2 women—who attended classes in a reception lounge of an old religious conference building.

In 1950, just prior to the beginning of construction on the medical center building, a Los Angeles Times reporter called it "one of the greatest medical meccas in the world." Newspaper reports indicated that the medical center would "combine a complete undergraduate medical school, a fully equipped and staffed hospital and the most advanced research facilities possible." In the article, Dean Stafford Warren remarked that the medical campus would be "the first structure of its size and nature to be specifically designed for the Atomic Age with operating rooms and radiology department built where they serve both the flow of function and, incidentally, protection against disaster."

That protection from disaster served the UCLA medical complex well from its opening in 1955 until 1994, when the main medical building experienced interior structural damage as a result of the Northridge earthquake. Given concerns for patient safety in the context of earthquake risks, the California legislature amended existing legislation and required all hospitals to house their acute-and intensive-care units in earthquake-safe buildings by 2008. As a result of that legislation, the "medical mecca" of the 1950s gave way to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (RRUCLA).


The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is named after the former U.S. president and California governor. Including state-of-the-art equipment purchases, the construction costs exceeded $1 billion. Funding sources included more than $300 million in private donations, including $150 million in the name of President Reagan; $432 million in federal earthquake relief funds; and $44 million in California state contributions. The 10-story building, with more than a million square feet, has 520 private patient rooms and employs 1,500 full-time physicians and more than 2,500 support staff. The building, which opened to patients in June 2008, is constructed to withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake and was one of the first buildings in California created to meet the state's elevated seismic standards.

The Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA occupies a 90-bed unit in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Similarly, the medical center houses the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, a 74-bed independently accredited and licensed hospital.

In addition to the hospitals housed in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on UCLA's Westwood, California, campus, UCLA Health System also owns and operates the 271-bed acute-care Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital in the neighboring community of Santa Monica. The Santa Monica hospital has had a presence in its community since 1926 and was acquired in 1995. Much like the Ronald Reagan UCLA campus, the Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Center has been modernized to the highest technology standards and serves

Excerpted from Prescription for Excellence by JOSEPH A. MICHELLI. Copyright © 2011 by The Regents of the University of California and UCLA Health System. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Foreword Eugene Washington, M.D., M.Sc., vice chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences, and dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA......          


CHAPTER 1 The UCLA Health System Experience: What Everyone Can Learn from Greatness in Healthcare....................          

PRINCIPLE 1 COMMIT TO CARE....................          

CHAPTER 2 Care Takes Vision, Clarity, and Consistency....................          

CHAPTER 3 Never Enough Care....................          

PRINCIPLE 2 LEAVE NO ROOM FOR ERROR....................          

CHAPTER 4 Setting the Foundation: Safety Is a Matter of Culture....................          

CHAPTER 5 Safety—Science, Selection, and Challenge....................          

PRINCIPLE 3 MAKE THE BEST BETTER....................          

CHAPTER 6 Delivering Exceptional Outcomes Here and Now....................          

CHAPTER 7 Quality for Less and for All....................          

PRINCIPLE 4 CREATE THE FUTURE....................          

CHAPTER 8 High-Value Innovation—Leveraging the Risk of Excellence....................          

CHAPTER 9 Transformative Evolution....................          

PRINCIPLE 5 SERVICE SERVES US....................          

CHAPTER 10 Service Experience—More than Just Pretty Words....................          

CHAPTER 11 Sustainable Success through Service without Bounds....................          

CONCLUSION Your Follow-up Care Plan....................          

Appendix A....................          

Appendix B....................          

Appendix C....................          




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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    An Antidote to America's Ailing Health Care

    The UCLA Health System went from 36th percentile in patient satisfaction to the 99th in the past three and half years? How did they do it? They put caring back at the center of providing top notch medical care and to put teeth in it they created metrics (and criteria for hiring and promotions and raises) to make certain that everyone at the UCLA Health System walked the talk. One of the most helpful examples from this break through book involve what is referred to as CICARE (pronounced See-I-Care) template for all physicians (on which they are regularly assessed with the results directly tied to their performance review). CICARE includes the following steps: 1. CONNECT - with the patient/family members using Mr./Ms., or by their preferred name 2. INTRODUCE - yourself and your role. 3. COMMUNICATE - what you are going to do, how it will impact the patient, etc 4. ASK - and anticipate patient and/or family needs, questions or concerns. 5. RESPOND - to patient and/or family questions and requests with immediacy. 6. EXIT - courteously explaining what will come next or when you will return.

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