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March 7, 2018 - Detronia Carson named Director of Patient Relations for USA Health

MOBILE, Ala. -- USA Health is pleased to announce the promotion of Detronia Carson to the post director of patient relations for USA Health, where she will oversee the patient relations departments at USA Medical Center and USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

“We see a lot of trauma, so we often receive comments praising physicians and nurses and other staff members for saving a family member’s life,” Carson says. Trauma, burn and acute care centers often provoke that kind of gratitude, and it shows up in patient surveys, social media and via phone calls, letters or emails.

“There’s a lot of recognition for being lifesavers,” she says.

It’s a treat to share the good reviews, Carson says. Her department has even created a “kudos” system for posting the positive feedback for all to see, “so staff can see they’re appreciated.”

But hospital stays can be stressful for patients and their families, Carson notes. So unhappy comments also come with the territory. Carson and her staff work with physicians, nurses and nurse managers to determine the best way to address challenges.

Every complaint is taken seriously, she says, and the follow-up can often lead to positive changes. “We strive to use each instance as a tool to improve our processes and to fulfill the mission, vision and values of USA Health,” she says. “My department is committed to process improvement and providing ongoing training to staff members about the importance of the patient experience and improving patient satisfaction.”

“It can be challenging — you hear the good and the bad,” she says. “But for me, I love to help people, so it’s refreshing. I’m doing what I love — helping people; helping patients and their families and helping our staff to improve.”

“I love it,” says Carson. “Working here has made me very grateful for my family and friends and for the life I have. You see unfortunate cases of people’s lives being changed in the blink of an eye.”

Handling kudos and complaints, sharing good news and bad with other staffers “It’s not a gift that everybody has. You have to have a certain level of patience and compassion. You have to love what you do in order to be in this job.  Some people say it’s the hardest job in hospital. I beg to differ. But you do have to love it.”

Carson came to USA health three years ago as a patient relations coordinator, then moved up to supervisor before being named director earlier this year.

Before joining USA, she worked at the Independent Living Center, a nonprofit organization serving disabled residents in several counties. Her specialty was helping young adults move up from youth programs into adult settings — helping them with housing, earning a GED or perhaps getting a driving learner’s permit.

A Mobile native, she graduated from Shaw High School and Auburn University. She has two boys, 9 and 7, and they enjoy lots of family time.

About the University of South Alabama Medical Center

As a state-certified Level 1 Trauma and Burn Center, University of South Alabama Medical Center serves as the major referral center for patients with traumatic injuries from southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi, and portions of northwest Florida. Last year alone, USA Medical Center served patients in 53 counties.

The Medical Center’s designated trauma team - which includes around-the-clock trauma surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, and neurosurgeons - treats an average of five critically injured patients a day, which is more than 1,700 people a year. As the go-to facility for the area’s toughest emergencies, USA Medical Center is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation. USA Medical Center is a part of USA Health.

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