By Dan Barber
Public Affairs Officer
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital
My career as the Public Affairs Officer at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital will end May 31 when I retire, but my relationship with the Hospital will continue… albeit as a health care consumer… hopefully on a very limited basis.
As such I will continue my curiosity to know what is going on at the hospital? When flu shots and other health services will be given to retirees like myself? What the hours of operations are for the clinics and ancillary services? Who replaced my Primary Care Provider? Why can’t I get an appointment when I want one? How do I give praise to a great Corpsman who provided me with a wonderful experience?... You noticed that I included all the important basic communication questions… Who, What, When, Where Why and How.
To this end, the command has established “Communications” as one of its strategic initiatives. Each directorate here has assigned a Public Affairs Representative who is responsible for ensuring that information is fed to one of the communications channels the hospital uses. These communications links include:
* “The Examiner” which is published each month and inserted into the base newspaper “The Observation Post” normally on the first Friday of each month. “The Examiner” is also published on the hospital’s Facebook page;
* Closed Circuit TV programming used to inform and educate patients in health care issues;
* Social media which includes Facebook, Twitter and a Health Blog. Every day Monday-Friday the day’s available appointments for the Blue, Gold and Pediatric Clinic Medical Home clinics are published on Facebook before the clinic appointment lines open at 7:15 a.m;
* Information is also fed to the Combat Center’s Joint Public Affairs Office (G5) to be included, as needed, in the Speedcall email message system and on Combat Center radio and television broadcasts; and
* A huge communications channel that cannot be overlooked is the Face-To-Face “2-step communications method.” The hospital has a very active Customer Relations program with representatives in each department and clinic of the hospital. Patients with any issue they would like to discuss from a complaint to praise, should seek one of these representatives out for assistance. If not satisfied with the help received with one of these reps, they can contact the Customer Relations Officer, (CRO) who is HMC Tamara Marks, who can be reached at 760-830-2825. Chief Marks is a special assistant to the Commanding Officer, Captain Jay Sourbeer, MC. The Customer Relations Officer and clinic reps also provide input to the Comunications team so educational information can be developed to help patients or command staff.
The leadership of the Naval Hospital as well as Navy Medicine is constantly searching for a way for patients as well as medical staff to provide feedback to the leaders so they can make informed decisions to help in providing the best possible health care service.
The Naval Hospital’s Communications team is headed up by Lt.j.g. Ashley Robertson, NC. Robertson recently met with his team to discuss other communications strategies that can be used to reach the command’s beneficiaries. One of the Public Affairs Reps, Hospitalman Kylie Guest, Surgical Services Directorate, pointed out that we need to push our social media communications out to our younger beneficaries who are “wired” into instant communications through their smart phones. A plan was to set into motion with that suggestion to create some strategies to get the younger population of the Combat Center to “log on” to learn about services at the hospital. I recently discovered what a “QR” does, because I finally buckled to peer pressure and purchased a smart phone… so I will be creating some posters where patients can take a photo of our QR with their smart phone to automatically log on to our social media sites. This will be done as soon as I can figure out how to use my smart phone, other than making or receiving phone calls, to create a QR with the QR App… maybe I’ll just get HN Guest to create it.
Feedback is also encouraged. The Facebook, Twitter and Blog sites each have the capability to receive that feedback… instantly. The only thing the hospital would like to see is for users to provide constructive criticisim or even positive feedback about a good experience with the hospital. Personal attacks should be avoided as the social media sites are constantly monitored and can be viewed by anyone .
Good ideas are always welcomed, and many times incoporated into the health care services provided to patients.
Because of the hospital’s dedication to the protection of patient privacy personal patient information will never be discussed on social media. For private consultation, beneficaries should book an appointment with their health care team by calling 760-830-2752 or by calling the Customer Relations Officer at 760-830-2825. Another option beneficaries of the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital have is “Relay Health.” Customers can log on to this secure site to communicate directly with their health care team at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital… check it out: https://app.relayhealth.com/Registration.aspx?Status=new