- Arizona: In a letter to President Obama sent Jan. 10, U.S. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said additional allegations about long wait times at the Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Phoenix have been verified by two VA reports published in October 2016. Lerner said the reports—one released by the VA Office of the Inspector General and the other by the VA Office of Medical Inspector—show that employees at the medical center continued to make errors that inappropriately delayed care for patients more than two years after the facility came under scrutiny for a wait-time scandal. Among other confirmed allegations, the reports found that one veteran died after a potentially life-saving cardiology test was inappropriately delayed, and that on any given day, 1,100 patients seeking care with a specialist had been waiting for at least a month (Rein, "PowerPost," Washington Post, 1/11; Wagner, The Arizona Republic/USA Today, 1/11; VA Office of Inspector General report, 10/4/16).
- Ohio: Thomas Strauss has been named president and CEO of Sisters of Charity Health System, effective Jan. 10. Strauss, who previously worked at Summa Health System and the health care consulting firm CEO Advisory Network, succeeds Terrence Kessler, who had served in the position since 2013. Robert Spangler, the health system's board chair, in a statement said, "The Sisters of Charity Health System selected Tom because of his commitment to continuing the health system's Catholic mission, his record of transformational health care leadership, and his ability to strategically position our hospitals for future growth" (Coutre, Crain's Cleveland Business/Modern Healthcare, 1/10).
- Virginia: Several snowplow operators came to the rescue of a pregnant woman in labor and her husband after their car broke down on the way to the hospital. The couple was rushing to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital after Stephanie Dawson went into labor in the early morning hours of Jan. 8, but they switched course to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center after Dawson's contractions started coming faster. On the way, their truck broke down. Dawson's husband flagged down a passing snowplow, which dropped them off at the medical center just 15 minutes before Dawson delivered a baby boy. The Dawsons are hoping to locate the anonymous snowplow operators, who had to leave immediately after dropping off the couple, so they can say thank you (Murphy, ABC News, 1/9; Hartley, Virginian-Pilot, 1/8).
Build patient and consumer loyalty
The word "consumer" hasn't been in the health care lexicon for long. Yet it's undeniable that today's patients have more places than ever to shop around for health care. Getting patients in the door—and keeping them coming back—means providing both a 21st century consumer experience and a top-notch patient experience.
To build loyalty, you must understand a person's need as a patient and as a consumer. Our infographic outlines three key values to win them over.