WBAMC Medical Conference stresses patient experience

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Story by Marcy Sanchez on 10/23/2017
William Beaumont Army Medical Center held its annual Medical Staff Training Day at the Centennial Conference and Banquet Center, Fort Bliss, Oct. 6.

During the training WBAMC healthcare providers and key clinical leaders were entertained with a presentation from WBAMC's commander, 1st Armored Division's deputy commanding general and special guests.

"What's the number one priority of the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Surgeon General?" asked Col. Erik Rude, commander, WBAMC, as he opened up the conference.

"Readiness," the crowd answered.

Rude accentuated WBAMC's mission statement, "Readiness through patient-friendly access to high-quality healthcare" and outlined the relationship between treatment of beneficiaries and readiness of the Army.

Further dissecting the statement, Rude explained patient-friendly access refers to not only access to care but also the patient experience.

"I want you to put a smile on their faces," said Rude. "They may be your 15th patient of the day, but you're their first doctor of the day."

Rude also stressed the importance of physician readiness, commenting that any day physicians may be called upon to deploy in support of combat or humanitarian missions, as one WBAMC physician did in wake of Hurricane Maria.

"You have to ask yourself every day, Am I ready'?" said Rude.

Following Rude, Dr. Julius Kaplan, emergency medicine physician, highlighted the importance for medical providers to understand what is important to patients and their staff. Kaplan also described the relationship between patient satisfaction and quality healthcare through clinical efficiency.

"What we need to do is give patients a memorable experience," said Kaplan.

Kaplan went on to state that while a patient's healthcare needs may be met by physicians, it's the experience that will leave a lasting impression of that patient's opinions about the quality of care at the treatment facility.

The conference also welcomed Brig. Gen. Mark Landes, deputy commanding general-support, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, to further emphasize the impact of medical readiness in the Army.

"I trust you all will make the right call, I trust this community," said Landes, describing communication between medical professionals and unit commanders.

"I need to know that (Soldiers) can get on a plane and go do their job," said Landes. "Their job is to fight and win our Nation's wars."

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