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VA Southeast Network (VISN7)


VISN 7 celebrates Patient Experience Week 2024

VISN 7 celebrates Patient Experience Week 2024

VISN 7 celebrates Patient Experience Week 2024

By James Branch
Friday, May 3, 2024

Patient Experience Week is a nationally recognized week that acknowledges the dedicated efforts of VA staff who strive to provide an exceptional patient experience. In the VA Southeast Network (VISN 7), this celebration holds special significance as it honors the unique moments shared between our employees, Veterans, their families, and caregivers.

This year’s theme, "Own Your Moment," encapsulates the empowerment of our employees, while assisting our patients in their health care journey. It emphasizes the importance of individuals taking our own the moment principles personally by building trust, showing empathy, and advocating responsibly for the needs of our nation’s heroes. This theme resonates deeply with VISN7’s commitment to honoring America’s Veterans with quality health care services.

Throughout Patient Experience Week, VISN 7 facilities are buzzing with activities aimed at fostering meaningful connections between Veterans and staff. From interactive workshops to Whole Health sessions promoting wellness and healing, every event is designed to celebrate employee excellence and empower patients.

“At VISN 7, our mission has always been centered around providing the highest quality of care and support to our Veterans,” said Dr. David Walker. VISN 7 Network Director. “This week’s celebration is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and compassion exhibited by our staff every single day.”

One of the highlights of Patient Experience Week for VISN 7 is the acknowledgment of three of our facilities that have recently been recognized by the national Veterans Experience Office as Top Ten improved sites for Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP) overall rating of hospital and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) provider ratings.

The Central Alabama VA Health Care System scored sixth most improved for overall rating of hospital, the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center scored seventh most improved, and the Birmingham VA Health Care System scored ninth most improved in PCMH provider ratings. These scores were produced by comparing fiscal year 2023 (FY23) quarter one to FY24Q1 overall rating scores (using Rolling Four Quarters).

Birmingham VA was also recently ranked four out of five stars in the patient experience of care survey called the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The survey asks a random sample of recently discharged patients about their hospital care experience. Birmingham joins the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System (Charleston) and the Columbia Health Care System as a 4-star facility within VISN 7. 

“When patients have an ideal patient experience, they also have better outcomes,” said LaWanda Parks, VISN 7 Veteran Experience Officer. “By listening to patients, we can better understand their journey and evolve practices to meet their needs.”

This week, all our VISN7 teams, including the Charlie Norwood VA Health Care System (Augusta) and the Dublin VA Health Care System, are highlighting their innovation and services designed to enhance care delivery to our Veterans. Since FY22, our VISN has improved each year in our outpatient trust agreement. 

“VISN 7 currently has a Veterans Signals customer feedback trust score of 88.5%, up from 87.5% at the end of FY23, and that score continues to trend up,” said Parks.

Patient Experience Week 2024 celebrates the invaluable connection between VISN 7 staff, Veterans, their families, and caregivers. In the spirit of empowerment and collaboration, staff is reminded that every encounter is an opportunity to own their moment, and showcase the VA’s Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, respect, and Excellence (ICARE) values.

Patients are reminded that they are not merely recipients of care but invaluable participants in their own health and well-being. Veterans are at the heart of everything we do, and they contribute to the culture of excellence and compassion that defines health care in VISN 7.


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