FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 16, 2013) -- Lyster Army Health Clinic's recently modified patient appointment system has led to an overall improvement in patient satisfaction scores.

For more than seven months, the clinic has claimed the top spot in overall customer service across the southern region's 11 military treatment facilities, according to core business operation metrics gathered by the Enterprise Reporting Service. LAHC is also beating wait time and satisfaction metrics of local hospitals and doctors' offices.

Beginning in June, Lyster will introduce open access to the Flight Medicine team, a concept that provides appointments the same day a patient calls in. The new workflow will continue to roll out to all clinics in the following months.

"Open access is not only going to greatly improve the care we provide to patients, but also make our patients happier," said Col. Lynnette Bardolf, deputy commander for Clinical Services at LAHC. "If you call us in the morning and want to be seen the same day, we will make sure you have an appointment that is convenient for you."

Open access will streamline patient appointments so much, doctors will start accepting new patients who now wish to be seen at LAHC.

Wait times in the clinic have also decreased with the new system. The average wait time after checking in at the primary care clinic is about eight minutes.

"We aren't going to check you in for an appointment and then make you wait 30 minutes to an hour to be seen," Bardolf said. "Your time is important to us, and we want to get you into and out of the doctor's office as soon as possible."

For patients with complex care needs, LAHC provides a case manager to help make appointments and make sure lab results are recorded in their medical record.

"If we need to refer you out to the network for multiple specialty services, our case managers will help coordinate the appointments and collect the data for your doctor at Lyster," Bardolf said.

Lyster also provides 24/7 access to doctors and nursing staff through secure online messaging. Patients can request referrals, appointments, lab results and medication refills, and can expect a reply within one to two business days.

To make an appointment or to find out how to become a patient at Lyster, call 255-7000.