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.
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.
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.