We recognize that in today's choppy healthcare seas, those who run hospitals are on the hunt for ever-better ways to present and promote themselves. One approach is to change the hospital's name. So each year, through our Best Hospitals and Best Children's Hospitals contractor, U.S. News reaches out to contacts at thousands of hospitals and healthcare systems to ask whether they want us to call their centers something different than the name U.S. News used the year before.
We can't always reach them. Although RTI International, our contractor, has both a primary and secondary contact, with emails and phone numbers, sometimes both individuals have moved on, or the contact information is incorrect, or the invitation to submit a new name is overlooked or misdirected to the spam folder.
This year, therefore, we are offering a public, last-minute alert. The deadlines for requesting a change are:
Requests should be submitted to besthospitals@RTI.org. Please make certain that whoever does so has the authority to submit the exact name requested.
All name-change requests will be carefully reviewed by RTI and sent to U.S. News with a recommendation to accept the submitted name or, if not, to consider an alternative version. U.S. News may overrule a rejection or create yet another version of the name.
We try to honor requests as often as possible. When one is rejected, it's usually either because it violates our editorial style (through unique use of UpperCaseLettersandSpaces, perhaps) or because it suggests that the brick-and-mortar hospital has become a system.
We take the position that patients who use Best Hospitals and Best Children's Hospitals as a resource are looking for a hospital, not a system. When they need care, they will walk through the entrance of a building; they won't fall into the embrace of an intangible corporate brand (Ginormous Health System, Compassionate Healthcare). And so we go to some lengths to preserve that construct in the names we display. We put patients first, because they're the people U.S. News Best Hospitals and Best Children's Hospitals were intended to serve.