Survey serves as tool to improve MEDDAC
Story by: Tywanna Sparks
IACH PUBLIC AFFAIRS
For those who receive a survey in the mail weeks after their appointment at Irwin Army Community Hospital and have the urge to throw it away, stop.
The Army Provider Level Satisfaction Survey, also known as Apples, is a survey program administered by the Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General and is used to gauge how IACH operates as an organization in reference to patient satisfaction, said Felton Butler, IACH Customer Service chief.
Patients are randomly selected after their appointments, and the surveys are sent out within 48 hours.
APLSS asks patients questions regarding overall satisfaction of their visit.
The survey consists of 27 questions and takes about five to 10 minutes to complete. Patient information is not included and remains completely confidential.
Those who receive the survey in the mail can log in to the website with the provided username and password to answer questions; call the toll-free number provided in the letter; or fill out the survey and return it in the pre-addressed envelope provided.
On average, 3,500 APLSS are sent out to patients who visit IACH each month.
"The biggest problem is out of the 3,500 surveys that are mailed out, we only receive 10 to 12 percent back," Butler said. "Returned surveys equal money that we can use to improve problem areas, upgrade amenities and expand services. How can we make changes if we don't receive enough returned surveys? How do we know what our weaknesses are? It's all about improvement, and our customers have the ability to make those improvements."
All questions are important for the patient to answer and allow leadership to see where improvements can be made, Butler said.
"Our goal is to increase our response rate to more than 50 percent," he said. "The more surveys returned, the better the data regarding services, and, ultimately, increased funding for improvements."
For more information on APLSS, contact IACH Customer Service at 785-239-7103.