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Health-Care Leader Praises Schneider Hospital Improvement Program

Jan. 24, 2008 — Schneider Regional Medical Center is on the right track with its approach to positive change, the President and CEO of one of the nation's top 100 health-care systems told management and staff recently.
Chris Van Gorder, who led the $1.8 billion Scripps Health System of San Diego, Calif., from near collapse to a top 100 ranking in less than five years, shared the story of the Scripps turnaround during a special presentation in the Benjamin Medical Auditorium Tuesday, according to a Schneider news release.
"Van Gorder's purpose was to validate the methodology being used to improve every aspect of operations at SRMC in order to produce the best outcomes for patients," the release said.
The organizational change at Schneider has been dubbed SOCAA, an acronym for "satisfying others by changing our actions and attitudes." The release calls it a "service-improvement concept, which begins with a commitment to produce the optimal clinical outcome for the patient, thus requiring changes in every aspect of operations to facilitate the best practice."
Once the organization believes in itself, Van Gorder said, the confidence of the community will follow.
Using a similar approach, Scripps Health of San Diego has become a model health-care system, ranked nationally for its clinical excellence and recognized by AARP as one of the nation's best employers for workers over 50, the release said. Modern Healthcare lists Van Gorder in the top 25 percent of the nation's "100 most powerful people in health care."
He expressed his confidence in SRMC's SOCAA project during his visit to St. Thomas, noting that Scripps faced similar challenges, but with hard work, was able to overcome them. He praised the leadership and vision of Amos W. Carty, Jr., Schneider Regional Medical Center's president and CEO. "By making the patient the focus of the organization, all the broken fundamentals will be put together again, the staff realigned, and there will be a balance among competing priorities," Van Gorder said.
Among the benefits of changing an organization for the better, he noted, are improvements in public confidence, employee morale, work force stability and increased revenues.
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