Mike Rowse A voice from New Mexico


Because getting on a teacup is the same as getting medical care


It seems to me that if you are hired to head up an organization that is under fire, you probably want to concentrate your efforts on fixing the problems that lead to your predecessor's firing. Even if everything else goes to heck in a hand basket, you still have a pretty good chance of being viewed as successful because you solved the problems your were hired to solve. But that's just me, I'm not a political hack heading up a federal agency.

Robert McDonald we hired in July of 2014 to head up the Veteran's Administration after several scandal came to light, not the least of which was that 40 people had died while waiting in line for treatment at the Phoenix VA hospital alone. Not to mention that the reputation of the VA's medical care program is pretty much the worst in the industry. Not to say that there aren't caring medical professionals in the program or that they don't provide some quality health care, it's just that it's a bureaucracy run by the government and is woefully inefficient.

But after almost 2 years at the helm, McDonald hasn't been able to solve the problem of long wait times and people passing away while literally waiting in line for treatment at VA facilities. So if you are McDonald, what do you say when you are asked to speak at gathering to discuss reforms or the lack thereof? Rather than point out failings inherent in the system, you could downplay the importance of veterans receiving timely healthcare. I wouldn't do that, but you could.

And that's what McDonald did; he said, "When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what's important? What's important is, what's your satisfaction with the experience? And I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure." Oh no he didn't! Oh yes he did!

I don't think that many people go to Disneyland when they are in need of life saving medical treatment. What is one of the biggest complaints any patient has about visiting the hospital or doctor's office? The time spent in the waiting room. And when you either are or think you are in need of prompt, life saving medical treatment, you are much more sensitive to the wait time before you see a doctor and get that treatment.

As the head of an organization trying to provide high quality medical service to 'customers' I would think that I'd at least make the appearance of caring about wait times. And if I couldn't improve that reality or perception, I'd sure as hell be telling people why; maybe it's a lack of personnel or facilities; too many vets that need care. Maybe it the inherent problems with bureaucracies, red tape and the like. But to downplay the wait times and say it's not important; that's wrong on so many levels.

And Mr. McDonald, how do you measure overall satisfaction with the experience if the patient died in the waiting room? I guess that would increase your measure of success since they aren't able to respond, which I'm guessing would most likely be a negative review of your agency.

By the way, Disney does measure wait times and includes that factor in their analysis of overall satisfaction. If they weren't sensitive to the long wait times, why would they have come up with the fast pass concept, allowing customers to bypass the long lines by paying more for a special ticket? I'm just saying.

Nice job Mr. McDonald, typical liberal response to a problem you can't solve, downplay the importance of the problem. And lie about how other organizations handle that same concern.

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  1. I think you hit a buelylse there fellas!

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