FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 31, 2014) -- Patients at Lyster Army Health Clinic, who have been filling out and returning their Army Provider Level Satisfaction Surveys, earned the clinic $1.25 million in fiscal year 2013.

The surveys, an Army Medical Command, Office of the Surgeon General initiative to receive feedback about patients' health care experiences, are mailed to patients at random after their appointment at LAHC.

The clinic earns money for each "satisfied" survey returned, which correlates to how patients answer questions No. 9, 13, 20 and 21. The clinic's average Overall Satisfaction score for FY13 was 94.5 percent.

LAHC earned $91,000 in FY12 when 2,547 responses were returned. Returned surveys more than doubled in FY13 with more than 4,100 surveys sent back to LAHC. This fiscal year's first quarter has already yielded 1,688 responses.

So what does LAHC do with the money? Give it right back to our patients by hiring more staff, upgrading equipment, adding more prescriptions to our pharmacy and remodeling the building to better suit our patients' needs.

However, the money isn't the most important aspect of the survey. For the command team and staff at LAHC, the survey's feedback helps us to improve services for our patients. Listening to you through surveys helps us identify desired and needed new services vital to your health care.

Taking the time to fill out and return the survey allows the OTSG to see our progress and ensure services delivered to Soldiers and their Family members, as well as retirees and their Family members, remain exceptional.

"Attaining a 94.5 percent satisfaction rate based on returned surveys is exceptional," said LAHC Commander Col. James Laterza. "Using your patient satisfaction feedback to improve the health care we deliver at Lyster continues to push me and my staff to exceed expectations."

If you receive a mailed survey in response to an appointment experience at LAHC, be sure to fill it out and return it. We are working hard to ensure that we exceed your health care expectations and earn excellent ratings. We want to make sure we continually have your feedback.

Giving us high marks when we meet or exceed expectations, or letting us know where we might improve, goes a long way in maintaining and improving services for you -- our Partners in Health.