New joint patient survey continues impact for patients

By Chuck Roberts
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public Affairs

Photo8bOutpatients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center will begin seeing a new satisfaction survey sent to them soon after their appointment, but the impact will remain the same – changes and improvements happen as a direct result from patient feedback.

The Joint Outpatient Experience Survey (JOES) is replacing the Army Provider Level Satisfaction Survey (APLSS) used by the Army, as well as outpatient surveys used by the Air Force and Navy. In areas such as the Kaiserslautern Military Community where a patient can be seen by an Air Force and/or Army provider for the same medical condition, JOES will provide a standardized customer service questionnaire regardless of the branch of service where the care was provided.

LRMC Patient Advocate Elaine Williams said JOES will help Military Health System leaders better evaluate patient satisfaction across all military branches, and as always will remain an important tool for LRMC leadership.

“I can guarantee that the LRMC commander reads every last one of them,” Williams said, “because it lets us know what our patients are concerned about, and we want to exceed every patient’s expectations.”

Williams said customer feedback and the extra revenue derived from patient satisfaction surveys lead to noticeable improvements for patients. LRMC improvements that were a direct result of patient satisfaction surveys include:

• Wi-Fi was provided to patient waiting rooms at the Emergency Department and Pharmacy.

• Patients’ comments about delays in receiving mammograms and MRIs led to the purchase of new equipment and more prompt service.

• Inpatients can now call the hospital dining facility and order a la carte from the menu.

“Getting on the same page really benefits our patients,” said George Sherman, Chief of LRMC Program Analysis and Evaluation, and he said having combined patient data will help standardize and improve the overall military health system.

Sherman also reminds beneficiaries that JOES will continue to provide extra revenue that helps improve the patient experience at LRMC. The medical center receives up to $500 for each survey returned. That resulted in an extra $1.7 million for LRMC and its beneficiaries since March 2015. If all surveys had been returned for that time period, Sherman said the total could have been nearly triple that amount, leading to even more improvements for patients.

“I love this new joint environment,” said Sherman. “It’s a good step in the right direction and a tangible way for patients to have a voice in improving their healthcare experience.”