Management Lessons From Mayo Clinic

mayoclinicAfter my last post title “Doctors Block Critical Comments by Patients” I thought I’d write about something more uplifting: Exceptional, Patient-Centered Service Delivery! So here I go.

Earlier this year, at the Forum on Customer Based Marketing Strategies, I sat in on a presentation by Len Berry and Kent Seltman, the authors of Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic: Inside One of the World’s Most Admired Service Organizations. After their presentation I attended the book signing, met the authors, and had the opportunity to speak with them about their views on customer service in healthcare.

Well, after two crazy months, I finally finished their book this weekend. In my opinion, it is a must read for anyone working in management within a healthcare organization. The story they tell isn’t complex; in fact, it is powerful in its simplicity. The model that Mayo Clinic follows is simple in concept – but far more difficult in execution. The notion that the patient comes first and everything is built around that principle, seems so obvious, as does the concept of integrated care. But the truth is, many organizations fall short of these ideals.

Here’s a quote from the text that tells part of the story:

“The century-old Mayo Cinic brand thrives today, not only because one of its founders defined its values in 1910 but also because those values are renewed every day in surprisingly sensitive service delivered to thousands of patients and their families. The stories of great service also touch the heart of Mayo Clinic employees and give meaning to their work – a bonus of personal significance added to the biweekly salary deposits in their bank accounts.” (Source: Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic, p. 47)

In their chapter on “Preserving a Patient-First Legacy” the authors outline four lessons for managers to take away for Mayo Clinic’s experience:

  1. “The real values of an organization are the values lived.”
  2. “A humane value resonates.”
  3. “Substance trumps rhetoric.”
  4. “Core values rarely change but their effective implementation requires change.”

You don’t even need to read the book to understand these lessons. They are simple, yet profound. Go to Amazon.com today and order a copy for yourself – and then share it with your management team!

Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer

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