I had to read the letter I received from my pediatrician's medical practice several times over:
Dear Valued Patient:
SIU Physicians & Surgeons has exciting news to share with you.
What...free flu shots for everybody? A new parking garage? An upgrade to the waiting room TV cable lineup? Anything, anything, that might actually improve my personal experience with this medical practice?
Effective on October 1, 2009 we changed our name to SIU HealthCare....
... Along with our new name of SIU HealthCare, you will also see the phrase, "Exceptional Medicine. Partners in Care." We believe this change will make it easier for you to identify and recognize who we are and to know what to expect when you visit one of our medical clinics.
and their website press release notes:
Changing to the new logo on items has begun as current supplies such as stationery items are used up*** – the conversion is expected to be completed by June 2010.
*** but for the letter announcing the change they used new name letterhead.
I'm actually considering wasting the toner and paper to respond in kind:
Dear Dr. Bradley, MD, CEO, SIU HealthCare:
I am writing in response to the recent letter regarding a change in name for SIU HealthCare.
You indicate in your letter that this change in name will "make it easier" for me "to identify and recognize who we are."
Oh Doctor Bradley. Don't get me started.
I immediately identified and recognized lots of things from your letter. Here's three:
- You hired a consultant. High five figure contract if it postdates the current recession, but given that you signed off on this letter, it's possible you were stupid and vain enough to be convinced that low-six was okay with your budget.
- You place a value on branding in health care. Oh, I'm sorry, "HealthCare." That phraseology alone means your consultant is back via the revolving door of Dante's Sixth Circle of Hell, and she'll (oh yeah, she'll...I can see the pencil skirt from here and so can you, John) be heading back from whence she came if Douglas Adams's B Ark for society-draining occupations doesn't get her first. Perhaps she has a choice: eternity burning on a fiery rack or several lifetimes discussing "Total Quality Improvement" with a bunch of telephone sanitizer quality supervisors. I know I'd have a hard time deciding if I was on her death panel, you betcha.
I would bet one month of Medicaid coverage (which at least several of your doctors no longer take) that your consultant ALREADY has a PowerPoint training session on "managing" that revolution when it comes. Let her know in your next teleconferencing meeting how much I admire her devotion to her own "HealthCare" and job security, and, um... good luck with your new logo.
- According to your letter, your "new identity is intended to capture the full array of health care services that we provide" (Okay, telephone sanitizers. Definitely the telephone sanitizers). John honey, tell the truth: isn't this really a last-ditch effort to snatch 'low-risk pregnancy patients with employer-provided Blue Cross' (HealthCare Consumer "A" on your consultant's PowerPoint handout) before the revolution comes?