Several VA health care facilities recently received VA Patient Experience Awards for patient experience improvements.
Facilities received the awards during a virtual VA Patient Experience Symposium. More than 450 VA leaders attended VA’s first Patient Experience Symposium in person in 2019 to share best customer experience practices from across the nation. Many of the practices shared last year at the symposium were put in place by VA employees since, contributing to a steady rise in Veteran trust of VA health care.
Trust in VA health care has increased 5% since 2017 and is currently about 90%. The rating means about 90% of Veterans in the past 90 days have responded to Veterans Signals surveys with “I agree” or “I strongly agree” to the statement, “I trust the VA for my health care needs.”
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and Veterans Health Administration Executive in Charge Dr. Richard Stone both addressed VA health care employees. They tuned in from the more than 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,200+ clinics that make America’s largest health care system.
“I also want to congratulate all Veterans Health Administration staff who dedicate your lives to providing the best, most compassionate care to Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “You’re building stronger and stronger bonds of trust between our Veterans and VA.”
Stone said that during COVID-19, VA health care employee absentee rates have been some of the lowest recorded in history. He said this reflects on a culture of dedication to mission.
The following winners received 2020 VA Patient Experience Awards:
Best Experience winners
- Butler, Pennsylvania VA Health Care System, overall
- Columbia, Missouri VA Medical Center, Level 1
- Fargo, North Dakota VA Health Care System, Level 2
- Iron Mountain, Michigan VA Medical Center, Level 3
- Primary Care Experience: Bronx, New York VA Medical Center
- Inpatient Experience: VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
Innovation Competition winners
- People Category: VA Connecticut Health Care System
- Processes Category: Iron Mountain, Michigan VA Medical Center
- Culture Category: Columbia, South Carolina VA Health Care System
Recipients received the awards based on performance in patient experience, employee experience, and trust. Finalists were compared in Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey, Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL), and Veteran trust as measured by VA’s Veterans Signals real-time customer experience data program. Veterans completed more than five million surveys since 2017.
Geneva Robinson from the Birmingham, Alabama, VA Medical Center received the lifetime achievement award. She’s spent more than 50 years of service, most of which have been spent improving patient experiences.
Joe Cupples, a Marine Corps Veteran, is the Red Coat Ambassador of the Year for his creative ways of welcoming Veteran patients at the Altoona, Pennsylvania, VA Medical Center.
Unit 3E staff at the Minneapolis, Minnesota VA Medical Center lead by Associate Director Martina Malek earned the Own the Moment Award for 2020 for quickly innovating a safe virtual connection between a Veteran dying of COVID-19 and his daughter.
Learning from best practices in both VA and private sector, VA has created and implemented Patient Experience tools. This ensures every employee is trained and focused on providing Veterans not only with the care they need, but also with care that is delivered in an exceptional and consistent manner.
For more information on VA Patient Experience or the VA Veterans Experience Office visit: https://www.va.gov/ve/.