LAHC commander discusses patient concerns in Wiregrass
Col. Patrick Denman, Lyster Army Health Clinic commander

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The following is a question and answer session with Col. Patrick Denman, Lyster Army Health Clinic commander regarding current health care issues facing patients at Fort Rucker.

Q: Overall how would you say that Lyster Army Health Clinic is doing'

A: Very well. If you look at the numbers, our patient satisfaction is high, around 92 percent. I also believe our staff morale is high because our Lyster Family strongly believes we are here for our beneficiaries, not the other way around. There is goodness in that.

Q: There have been rumors that the clinic is going through some changes to the organization, is that true'

A: Right now we are conducting a study to look at how to gain efficiencies in our business operations section. To be clear, this will not affect primary care or the delivery of care for patients. Our goal is to create synergy in the business operations sections like human resources, resource management, things like that but there should be no disruption in care.

Q: Why are you doing this study now'

A: Well first, it\'s been directed by the Army's Surgeon General. But really it was time to look at how to gain efficiencies. Lyster has gone through a lot of changes from being a small independent hospital in 2004 to being an ambulatory care center in 2005. There have been a lot of changes in the delivery of care, leadership and certainly the focus of how to take care of patients.

Q: What do you hope to do with the information you gather from this study'

A: Through this study we will be able to re-educate ourselves on what we do well regarding our patients and our primary mission in Aviation medicine, as well as how to best support and partner with the other medical components at Fort Rucker like our veterinary and dental clinics, Department of Veterans Affairs clinic, etc. We constantly strive to improve our processes. This is really all about taking care of our beneficiaries safely and effectively.

Q: Will there be any changes that patients will see'

A: Actually, yes. Soon, each one of our providers will be carrying a tablet computer (a laptop really) with them when they see a patient. This tablet will allow them to enter the patient's information in real time as well as expedite entering orders for other appointments like lab work or prescriptions. This is technology that many of our patients may have seen at other medical offices. Beginning in January, we will also be training our entire Lyster team on the third Wednesday of every month from noon to 4:30 p.m. Keeping a well-trained team is essential, and it should also help us standardize hours among our clinics and the ancillary services we provide.

Q: What else would you like your beneficiaries to know about LAHC'

A: We are here for our beneficiaries. We want to hear from them. I like to say that feedback is the breakfast of champions. No one should leave this facility feeling as though something is not right. We want to hear from you.

There are two ways our customers can approach bringing questions or concerns to our attention. First is to contact our patient representative, Martha Frausto. The second is to walk down to the command suite. I have an open-door policy and the coffee is always on and hot. We want our beneficiaries to leave with a "Wow" factor when they receive care here. We're working hard to get there and we welcome input to help us continue to improve.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16