Medical concerns are always a hot topic on Army posts. At Fort Bragg, military personnel and their Families are very familiar with the myriad of healthcare related concerns. In an effort to answer some of these concerns and issues about access to care, Col. Steven Brewster, commander of Womack Army Medical Center, hosted a virtual town hall meeting on the Fort Bragg Facebook page May 16, at 10 a.m. He was joined by the chief of Family Medicine, a patient representative, and subject matter experts from WAMC.
Some of the issues voiced by patients included misdiagnosed medical problems, appointment line holds, clinic hours, patient care, and reception. These issues were posted directly to the Fort Bragg Facebook page and were answered live by Brewster and his team. The forum remained open for an additional 45 minutes so the panel could answer all the questions posted.
Though posts were made on a variety of topics, the care at Robinson Health Clinic was a reoccurring concern. One mother wrote: “I had to switch my kids off post because they had seen multiple doctors at Robinson and were still not being prescribed any antibiotics.” Another mother stated that, “Many of the receptionists at Robinson are unfortunately very unpleasant and rude. The appointment line is a nightmare.”
Another patient agreed and wrote, “I had an appointment at 3:40 last week . . . I didn’t get seen until 5:28 because the nurse never gave the doctor my paper, so they didn’t even see that I was there. I honestly believe Robinson needs to gain some new competent employees.”
Brewster’s team answered each and addressed the issue of patient reception. They explained that WAMC is in the process of providing customer relations training to the central appointment staff and have ongoing chair-side coaching and call mentoring to improve patient service.
Regarding the difficulty getting appointments at Robinson, the panel said they are going to look into Robinson Clinic’s procedures.
The panel also referred multiple patients to patient advocates and provided specific telephone numbers and website addresses to assist in the process.
The subject matter experts followed up on the patient concerns and the day after the town hall one woman was very appreciative.
“I want to say a huge thank you to (the Womack staff) for contacting me about all of my concerns that I voiced yesterday (at the town hall). Everything has been resolved. Thank you.”
Though complaints abounded, there were also positive posts.
One woman wrote: “How can we have our provider at Robinson Clinic recognized? She is amazing with my kids, and extremely honest . . . Just a downright amazing doctor and I don’t feel that she hears how great of a provider she is.”
Another mother wrote: “A couple weeks ago my daughter got very sick. My daughter could hardly breathe and (the Robinson team) stepped up and started treating her right away. The nurses and doctors were the best there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”