In-N-Out Burger's customer-focused philosophy: 5 things ASCs can learn

In-N-Out Burger, a 70-year-old company that Money Magazine named America's best fast food chain in 2018, has a business model ASCs can learn from, according to Global 1 Co-Principal and Convergent SameDay Orthopedic Strategies Managing Director Scott Leggett.

Global 1 is a licensed third-party administrator and commercially insured bundled payments manager. 

Five In-N-Out concepts for ASCs to know:

1. Connecting quality to customer experience. The In-N-Out customer experience starts with fresh ingredients and employee training. Employees immediately learn the company's values, techniques and relentless customer focus. In a similar way, ASCs can enhance patient experience by paying careful attention to the beginning of the patient journey and providing focused management throughout the process.

2. Delivering consistency. Employees receive training on In-N-Out's "quality you can taste" philosophy on day one. The company carefully selects team members, sets expectations early on and continues investing in staff so they can focus on consistently delivering a quality product. By behaving like a concierge service company, ASCs can also put patients first and succeed with bundled payments.

3. Frying the competition. Whereas In-N-Out competes against dozens of other fast food chains, ASCs are competing against hospitals. Both are laser-focused on managing costs and providing the best possible experience. To get an edge over hospitals, ASCs can work with independent surgeons and anesthesiologists to create a bundled payment structure.

4. Winning loyalty. In-N-Out customers have an allegiance to the brand that other chains struggle to achieve. The chain won that loyalty by consistently delivering high-quality products.

"Likewise, surgeons are loyal to ASCs for one simple reason: The experience for the surgeon and their patients is second to none," Mr. Leggett said. "Patients love the experience, outcomes and lower costs of ASCs. When the patient is happy, so is the surgeon."

5. Keeping it simple. The McDonald's and Burger King menus feature more than 80 items, similar to how hospitals provide a costly, complex array of services. Meanwhile, In-N-Out serves less than 15 items, just as ASCs offer relatively few services. With a narrow focus, ASCs can standardize supplies, implants and other costs.

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