In an ideal world, customer support provides a range of services that include handling and forwarding of complaints; tracking and redressal of grievances; escalation of unresolved cases up the chain of command; and a mechanism to recognize exemplary performance and acknowledge superior service provided by an organization. In the real world, however, accessing customer support, in and of itself, can be a disappointingly unpleasant experience.
Navigating the processes that supposedly support a customer service program can be annoying, sometimes even daunting, and the ordeal keeps members from doing the only thing they wanted to do: talk to an actual human being who can assist them with their concern.
This is the reason why the 452nd MDG launched the Medical Group Patient Advocate program last month.
Members will now be able to immediately ask for an advocate who can facilitate resolutions to verbal and written grievances received from patients and other customers—internal and external. The program encourages faster human interaction between customers expressing a concern about the policies, processes, and service they have received from the 452nd AMDS through an independent and neutral advocate appointed by the 452nd MDG.
Customers are encouraged to utilize the services of the Medical Group Patient Advocate as their first option in their chain of command. While any Air Force military or civilian member may initiate a complaint at any level in their chain of command, giving them an opportunity to solve the problem underscores the chain of command’s importance and credibility. Specifically, we ask that you seek assistance from the Patient Advocate if you are experiencing issues with the following services provided by the 452nd AMDS: Line of Duty, Medical Evaluation Board, Fit for Duty and Profiles.
If you have a concern that does not fall in one of those areas, we ask that you utilize our Customer Survey located at https://afrc.eim.us.af.mil/sites/452aw/MDG/AMDS/SitePages/Home.aspx. This will ensure the most efficient use of resources.
The Patient Advocate program was developed following a strategic planning meeting where data on customer grievances were presented. Col. Michelle Wagner, commander of the 452nd AMDS, believes a grievance monitoring program can enhance the visibility of the squadron’s attempts at improving customer satisfaction. It can also address the accessibility to feedback mechanisms and continuous quality improvement processes and maintain accountability and responsibility for program managers. Ultimately, the program seeks to significantly reform the linear process adopted to redress grievances, but additionally it assures exceptional performance and processes are reinforced.
We are happy to introduce your Patient Advocates. They will be visiting units and meeting your UHMs throughout the New Year. They are excited to help you and the Medical Group continue to improve their processes.
A UTA: Capt. Johanna C. Boone
B UTA: 1st Lt. Anthony J. Ard
You can reach the Patient Advocates via email at 452AMDS.SG.PatientAdvocate@us.af.mil or call them and leave a message at 655-2339.
Be ready for more to come! In the coming month, we will have a page on the 452nd AMDS SharePoint for you to be able to submit a request for a Patient Advocate to contact you directly as well as new ways for you to tell us what you think.