There has been big changes in the way Veterans and their families are welcomed at VA health care systems across the country.
Last year at the American Legion’s 100th National Convention, Secretary Wilkie pledged, “The VA is about serving veterans. Our responsibility is to serve you well and honorably. My prime directive is customer service.” In May of 2019, VA codified customer experience into its core values in VA’s Code of Federal Regulations.
Employees and volunteers have stepped up to make it easier for Veterans to navigate to their health care appointment. VA is shifting the culture to put Veterans and their families at the center of every process. VA’s Veterans Experience Office is supporting VA medical centers to deliver an excellent patient experience, every time.
VA facilities across the country have implemented several patient experience programs to ensure every employee is trained and focused on providing our Nation’s Heroes with the care they need in a consistently exceptional manner.
- Red Coat Ambassadors: These ambassadors welcome Veterans and their families at medical center entrances with a friendly greeting and direct them to their destination
- Own the Moment: This customer experience workshop encourages VA staff to connect with, understand, and help guide Veterans through the moments that matter on their VA journey
- WE-CARE Rounding: Medical Center Leaders and Administrators make “rounds,” speaking directly with staff and visitors about the care and services they received
- Standard Phone Greeting: Creates a uniform way to greet callers, letting them know in a clear, friendly way who they have reached
Recently, Steve Gabris from VA’s national Veterans Experience Office, spoke with WFXR News Kianna Price on Living Local in Salem, Virginia about what VA is doing nationally and at Salem VA Medical Center to improve the patient experience at VA health care systems.
In February 2019, hundreds of VA employees came together in Arlington, Virginia, to share how they are making the Veteran Experience better, and help shape the future of patient experience at the first annual VA Patient Experience Symposium. This was the first gathering of its kind at VA and demonstrates a significant milestone in the future of focus at VA.
Learn how you can become a Red Coat Ambassador by contacting your local VA hospital’s Voluntary Services Office. Find your local facility at https://www.va.gov/find-locations/ .