How hospital mergers can sour patients

Mergers between community hospitals can change cultures so dramatically that patients take note, reported the Scientific American. Author Judy Stone recounts how a merger between two hospitals in Cumberland, Md., dramatically reshaped the culture of the surviving facility, Sacred Heart.

"This merger in Maryland divided the community and left wounds that linger to this day. Many physicians and nurses have left. Dissent--and even creative problem-solving input--is stifled. Those who remain are silenced by threats of termination," Stone wrote. "Instead of a friendly, home-town atmosphere, you take a number when you register, as you do at the meat market. And many patients now seek care elsewhere." Article