Picture credit - Politico

The results of a recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customer experience feedback survey showed an average 2.4 percent increase in Veteran trust of VA hospitals during fiscal year (FY) 2018.

Beginning in fall 2017 through September 2018, VA surveyed 1,660,563 Veterans regarding their trust of VA health care outpatient services and found that the “trust scores” of 128 out of 139 VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) increased by an average of 2.4 percent by the end of FY 2018.

“Listening to our Veteran patients plays an important role in providing world class customer service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA is not only listening to our Veterans, but we are taking action on their concerns as well as their recommendations to improve VA health care.”

The survey revealed Veterans were concerned with issues such as the accessibility of specialty providers and services, while typical recommendations from Veterans incorporated ways to improve parking at facilities and methods of expediting access to medications.

VA began soliciting customer feedback in fall 2017, inviting Veterans to respond to a survey after completing a Veterans Health Administration outpatient service appointment. Trust was measured at the nationwide, hospital network and individual VAMC level. Veterans were asked to rate their trust of the VA on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). FY 2018’s customer experience feedback survey revealed 86 percent of Veterans surveyed “agreed” or “strongly agreed” to the trust question.

Veterans also had the option to leave free text responses in their outpatient-services surveys. They selected whether they were leaving a compliment, concern or recommendation. The 439,730 Veterans who participated in the customer experience feedback offered the following:

  • 68.2 percent were compliments
  • 19 percent were concerns
  • 12.8 percent were recommendations

VA is implementing a customer experience feedback program across the entire department in alignment with the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-11 guidance on establishing and managing a customer experience program. The program also supports the design of a federal customer-experience framework as prescribed by the President’s Management Agenda.

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