Vital Signs: Looking At The VA As A Model

Nina Keck | Vermont Public Radio | April 14, 2011

(Keck)    Verdi's opinion is not unique.   David Van Amburg - managing director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which tracks consumer opinions, says in their most recent surveys, the VA consistently outscored the private sector in both inpatient and outpatient services.
(Amburg)   "We're measuring the quality of the hospital experience -  food bed, nursing care and so on and value - the kinds of costs that that patient incurs at hospitals and how they would rate those costs given the quality of the service - finally they are looking at loyalty - we're looking at the likelihood to use that hospital again."
(Keck)   Phillip Longman is a journalist who's written extensively on the VA hospital system.   He says twenty years ago, many people shuddered at the thought of getting medical care there.    But he says that's changed.
(Longman)   "I think part of why the VA had this tremendous transformation is it was a revolution from below.  It was back in the really bad old days when the central office of the VA was really dysfunctional.  You had ordinary people taking it upon themselves to improve their own working conditions and thereby improve the conditions of their patients."...