Every moment matters, and every interaction is an opportunity to provide Veterans and their families an exceptional experience. That’s the message hospital leaders at the New York Harbor Veteran Healthcare System wanted employees to hear. The hospital recently partnered with VA’s Veterans Experience Office (VEO) and invited team members into clinic areas to conduct a Patient Experience (PX) Roadshow.

Michelle Hayes briefs Manhattan VA employees on Veteran survey feedback.

Michelle Hayes briefs Manhattan VA employees on Veteran survey feedback.

Pop Up Classrooms

Without interrupting patient care, the team spoke with more than 250 employees in 25 clinical areas in Brooklyn and Manhattan over the course of two days.

Instead of scheduling and conducting formal training classes that take valuable time away from patients, areas like nursing stations and small break rooms became “pop up” classrooms for 7-10 minute presentations. In these brief huddles, employees learned what Veterans have identified as being most important in both the inpatient and outpatient settings when it comes to PX.

To make the presentation more personal, the PX team introduced a fictitious female Veteran named Rita and plotted her journey through a VA hospitalization. Employees learned when and how Rita may receive both electronic Veteran Signals (VSignals) and paper Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients (SHEP) surveys once she’s discharged and what questions she may be asked about her experience.

Veteran Feedback

For some, this was the first opportunity to learn how VA tracks Veteran feedback and how the New York Harbor hospitals currently rank against other VA hospitals in key areas such as staff courtesy and communications.

The huddles also gave teams a chance to learn low cost, easy to implement best practices from other high performing VA medical centers and to plan ways to improve on the local level.

“I think (the PX Roadshow) gives employees hope. They are able to see the VA is working to make things better,” said Patient Flow Coordinator Cheryl Mackey.

Overall, employees said they enjoyed the short, easy to attend sessions. Many felt the Patient Experience (PX) Roadshow was a great way to share what Veterans say is important, but it was also a good reminder how every VA employee can work to make each moment an exceptional one.

Michelle Hayes, CPXP, is a Patient Experience Coach. She is a former Army officer who has been with the Veterans Experience Office for four years.

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Published on Oct. 8, 2019

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  1. Douglas B Cantrell October 11, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    The VA hospital in Dallas has only gotten worse. You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig! A coat of paint and new executive offices will not take care of the mountains of problems. Get the employees out of the beds!!! The main reason the ER is slow is they have no place for the patients with employees sleeping in the beds. Make an adult responsible for unlocking waiting rooms so we can check in 30 minuets early per VA rules. Stop spending so much on oak wood and other extravagant building materials that would be better spent on buying more pillows. (No pillows available for surgery patients) Let’s put an adult in charge that can tell time to open the canteen, and maybe have coffee ready. It is sad to have to wait for someone to setup their register when you have been waiting 20 minuets in line to get your food. How about having your case manager check in with you once a year? Finally and foremost this is a hospital not the locker room with people playing grab ass and hollering. Maybe it is time to close the VA hospital in Dallas down and force most employees into finding a real job where they would be docked pay for showing up an hour or more late. Who would lie for them then? “Speed an efficiency” So it says on the phone but no one will ever answer.

  2. James October 9, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Better late than never, still a nonconformity, I’m living proof, va health care system in wa state is the worse ever.

  3. George Hunt Jr October 9, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    I have va care have had 2 procedures and are experiencing alot of problems. I have talked to my doctors and know one will address my issues. Being a veteran can I sue the va for poor medical

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