A new outpatient survey program will launch across the Army called the Joint Outpatient Experience Survey, or JOES, on June 20 and will replace the current survey instrument, Army Provider Level Satisfaction Survey, or APLSS. Now, no matter which military facility a beneficiary visits, the same survey will be administered with the goal of comparing and standardizing the results across the Military Health System for better beneficiary care. Army, Air Force, Navy and the Defense Health Agency will all use JOES at their medical facilities starting this year, and beneficiaries have an opportunity to help shape the quality of care they receive.

"As a beneficiary, now that you know your input on a survey can have a considerable impact on how the MHS delivers health care, you'll take time to put more thought in your responses," Richard Bannick, branch chief of the Decision Support Division within the DHA said.

About 72 hours after an appointment, a beneficiary will receive an optional survey to complete and should respond within a month by mail or electronically. The survey takes five minutes to complete and will give health providers and leadership the feedback necessary to improve service and improve beneficiaries' experience. Beneficiaries can expect their ratings and comments to be taken seriously and kept confidential.

"Patient satisfaction is everyone's responsibility," Dr. Melissa Gliner, an Army lead for Army Medical Command. "Additionally, patient satisfaction is part of Integrated Resourcing and Incentive System (IRIS) -- MTFs are monetarily reimbursed for high patient satisfaction scores."