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Disney’s Customer Service Lessons Featured at Health Care Workshop


PITTSBURGH , February 2008 — Customer service lessons drawn from the Walt Disney Co. and the entertainment industry will be highlighted at the Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) Workshop on Feb. 22 at UPMC Shadyside’s Herberman Conference Center in Pittsburgh.

Part of a series sponsored by the Innovation Center at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and the AMD3 Foundation in collaboration with the Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the workshop is designed to demonstrate to health care workers how a new model of patient- and family-centered care can lead to improvements in quality, safety, efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Keynote speakers at the workshop, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., are Fred Lee, the author of If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 ½ Things You Would Do Differently, and Don Marinelli, Ph.D., executive producer of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. Lee has been both a senior vice president of a major medical center and a cast member at Disney University, where he helped to develop a quality service seminar for the health care industry. Marinelli, a professor at CMU, will discuss how entertainment strategies used in drama and interactive multimedia can be applied to health care.

“This innovative workshop will show participants that by putting patients first, we can modify current practices to improve every aspect of health care delivery,” said Anthony DiGioia III, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon who practices at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and a clinical associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. DiGioia, who heads the charitable AMD3 Foundation, is an industry leader in developing the “science of improvement” for health care, where the focus is on the processes of care rather than simply the latest technologies and treatments. His PFCC approach considers the patient’s point of view to help reinvent the health care experience—from parking and registration to follow-up care. Dr. DiGioia’s methods have been expanded to other service lines at UPMC and have become one of the health system’s tools for creating its vision of providing the right care at the right time to every patient.

“Health care delivery systems typically are organized for the convenience of those who deliver care rather than those who receive it,” said Tami Merryman, chief quality officer at UPMC. “At UPMC, we are embracing new models of health care that put patients and families first, the only way to create the lasting solutions that we all want.”

Other topics to be addressed at the workshop include the use of gaming for rehabilitation and training; building the “dream” health care team; and patient- and family-centered care methodologies. For more information on this event, visit, or contact Mary Thompson at

Note: Media interested in attending all or part of the conference should contact Wendy Zellner, UPMC Media Relations, at 412-647-3555 or


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