A few weeks ago, my husband sent me a photo of his pharmacy ticket while he was waiting for a prescription at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The image of his pharmacy ticket showed that at 11:40, there were 42 tickets ahead of his. At 12:05, he sent me a text saying they’d only called two tickets in the last 20 minutes.
About an hour and a half later, I check in with him to see how long it took the pharmacy to fill his prescription. He was STILL there! Maybe the pharmacy was short staffed? Were there only a few windows open? Nope. There looked to be plenty of staff, he said. And there were eight windows open!
He finally received his prescription at 1:40; essentially wasting 2 full hours of the Marine Corps’ time.
Many military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies have the option to request your prescription, and then return at a later time to pick it up, but unfortunately this isn’t always an option for most. In my husband’s case, his Primary Care Manager (PCM) referred him to a specialist at Walter Reed, which is an hour away from where we live. He had no choice but to wait for his prescription that day.
Thankfully, he now has the option to communicate his dissatisfaction through the new Joint Outpatient Experience Survey (JOES).
JOES rolled out last year as an improvement over the old patient satisfaction surveys. Previously, each of the services had their own version of the survey, but it wasn’t consistent across the Military Health System (MHS). Now standardized for all, JOES will allow the MHS to compare performance and satisfaction across the board.
In a few weeks, my husband will receive a survey in the mail asking about his experience at the facility where he received treatment, and the provider he saw that day. He will be asked to rate aspects of his care– did the provider treat him with courtesy and respect? Was it easy to make the appointment? Would he recommend the facility to another Tricare-eligible family?
He will even have the option to rate other services in the facility, such as Radiology, Laboratory, or Pharmacy. Well, how about that?
If the survey information my husband provides is used properly, it should give some valuable insight to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) on his experience within the MTF he visited. His relayed experience should help pinpoint areas that may need improving, like the pharmacy wait-time.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Will you complete the survey? We want to hear about your experiences, so please share them with us!
Posted by MJ Boice, Staff Writer