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

Joseph Michelli
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2011


“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

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (1 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071773541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071773546
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,004,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
As indicated in previously published books, Joseph A. Michelli is attracted to and fascinated by organizational excellence. He has an almost (not quite) insatiable curiosity to understand what works, what doesn't, and why. First, he studied Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle (When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace, co-authored with John Yokoyama, its owner), then Starbucks Coffee and Tea Company (The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary), then Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton), and now UCLA Health System (Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System). Notice the descriptive terms: "a vital and energized workplace," "turning ordinary into extraordinary," "creating a legendary customer experience," and "creating a world-class customer experience." All of these terms (not one but all) describe all four organizations.

In this latest volume, Michelli organizes his material within eleven chapters and concludes each of 2-11 with a "Prescription Summary" and then "Prescriptive Action" worksheet" when ending his Conclusion. Readers will also appreciate his insertion of "Your Diagnostic Checkup" sets of self-diagnostic questions throughout the narrative. For example:

Vision: "Have you placed the `face of the customer' in all aspects of your discussions? Do you start meetings with customer service stories? Have you elevated your corporate vision to address aspects of compassionate care of your customers?" (One of five Qs, Page 26)

Safety: "What are the five business-critical safety objectives for your business?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Crown Jewel of Patient Care 24 May 2011
By Steve Amoia - Published on
Healthcare is a topic that rarely has a consensus of opinions. Many healthcare consumers in the United States view the system as complicated, expensive, uncaring and stacked against them. In his recent book, organizational consultant, Dr. Joseph Michelli, focuses on a crown jewel of the customer/patient experience: The UCLA Health System.

"We are in the business of taking care of people It doesn't matter if you are a doctor, a nurse, or a janitor or if you carry a leadership title, we all must champion and execute on the common goal of coming in every day to make sure we take care of our next patient." Dr. David Feinberg, CEO UCLA Hospital System

Interesting Format

There are 11 chapters, three appendices, a detailed notes section, and separate sources and index areas. I liked that the author included an excerpt from UCLA's Patient Confidentiality Policy, along with their actual Confidentiality Agreement, as separate appendices. None of the chapters are over 30 pages in length which makes the book an engaging read that holds your attention. Dr. Michelli's writing style is friendly, informative and educational. The chapters are divided into five sections, or "Principles," to reinforce the learning aspect. Each chapter begins with a compelling quote from a historical figure. My favorite was "A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives" by American baseball legend and civil rights activist, Jackie Robinson.

Innovative Learning Features

Two salient features contained in each chapter were "Your Diagnostic Checkup" and "Prescriptive Summary." The first feature asks questions within the chapter to highlight the subject matter and encourage the reader to self-test their understanding. The latter item provides a concise and useful summary of key points.

Courtesy and Respect Theme

From knocking on hospital room doors before entering, to treating each patient as a valued customer, Dr. Michelli presents many examples how and why UCLA promotes the old-fashioned notion of courtesy and respect. This theme is presented by a significant amount of testimonials from actual UCLA caregivers and patients. For example, from Clara Heurta, a sign language interpreter: "I ran through the parking lot screaming and racing to the family to let them know that the patient would receive a heart that night." Or from a patient, Tom C., "We've been floating out in the middle of the ocean on a raft cobbled together out of driftwood and old tires. Suddenly, we've been rescued by the QEII."

Lack of Alternative Health Therapies

For me, the only negative feature of this book was a lack of an alternative health discussion. The author discussed many therapeutic innovations at UCLA such as dog, music and pastoral programs; however, there was no mention of Chinese healing arts such as acupuncture and Tai Chi. I found the omission strange for a diverse UCLA community that promotes a high level of patient-centric focus.

Notable Quotes

"Talent selection and retention is the single most pressing issue for business success over the foreseeable future."

"A moral error would be a physician who gets paged five times to go visit Ms. Jones but it too busy watching the Super Bowl and doesn't get to her until after she dies."

"There is a fine line between cult and culture."

"A full 68% will sever a customer relationship because they were treated poorly by a staff member."

"Your next customer will be your most important one!"

Model for the Future

None of us enjoys contemplating health care decisions; however, if we are going to become ill, UCLA is definitely a prescription for excellence.

Please Note

A McGraw-Hill representative provided me with a complimentary review copy of this book. I was not monetarily compensated for the review by any party that would benefit from a positive analysis.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Antidote to the Ailing American Healthcare System 25 May 2011
By Mark Goulston - Published on
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The business of trust 23 Jun 2011
By Norman Lacasse - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is about the UCLA Health System. All principles of excellence described in Joseph Michelli's work are applicable for evey venture. Every business is in the business of trust. Joseph Michelli was absolutely right when he wrote " Successful service cultures need champions from the top of the organization ".
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Psychotic self-congratulation 29 Jun 2013
By Line Cecum - Published on
Leave it to a huge system that's a disaster to publish a wild self-promotional tome ahead of its expansion and then get 5 people to do faux reviews. UCLA Health is an incompetent organizational monster that has ruined health care delivery in West Los Angeles and this is one of its authors.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and most accurate reflection of a health care system. 10 April 2014
By Erik Nuveen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a physician who attended UCLA, I can attest to the accuracy of much of the efforts made by the administration in hiring and orchestrating the improvement necessary to make the best of a great start. The apathy and neglect in much of the facility had led to near rage and disrespect. The efforts were spearheaded by a master motivator and planner. One aspect of the book left out was the purposeful deferment of less profitable procedures to other outside facilities. This is known far and wide by hospital administrators and the staff physicians, but truly was also essential in the financial turn around.
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