Shedding light on patient advocates

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
"Let me see what I can do for you," is the most common phrase a patient is likely to hear from Master Sgt. Bryan Anderson, 99th Medical Group patient advocate.

With more than 73,000 active duty, reservist, dependents and retiree patients enrolled for care at Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center, Anderson is constantly making calls, sending emails and visiting offices to get answers.

"We are the ultimate customer satisfaction people for the hospital," said Anderson. "We are here for patient's needs if they have gone through normal channels and can't find answers."

Anderson is one of the two 99th MDG patient advocates, but every clinic has their own representative.

If the section advocates are unable to resolve the issue at the lowest level, then patients may call the MOFMC advocates.

"We try and alleviate patient's concerns as best we can at the clinic," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Pearson, 99th Medical Operations Squadron Orthopedics and Podiatry's patient advocate. "We facilitate their concerns within our scope of care and not over step our boundaries."

When a patient is dissatisfied for any reason, patient advocates have the network resources and knowledge to get them answers to questions and access to needed information.

With providers having appointments sometimes booked in 15-minute increments, they are often pressed for time. This can cause them to be unable to diagnose or treat multiple medical concerns per visit. Patient Advocates are there to help translate clinic language or process to patients if they are any miscommunications, said Anderson.

A patient with any possible situation can walk into the patient advocate office; they are ready to assist at anytime.

"I've only been stumped twice in two years," said Anderson. "But then I can say 'I've never heard of that but let me see what I can do.'"

If a patient is uncomfortable speaking over the phone or in person with a patient advocate, Tricare makes automated post-appointment calls that generate reports directly to the 99th MDG.

"We receive weekly reports from Tricare and follow-up on any unsatisfactory experiences," said Anderson.

Overall, the goal for the patient advocate office is 100 percent satisfaction for both patients and providers.

"We want to make sure that everyone is happy while still following the rules," Anderson said.

A comprehensive listing of patient advocates for all clinics is located at; http://www.nellis.af.mil/units/nellismedicalcenter/patientadvocates.asp

To contact the 99th MDG patient advocates, call Tech. Sgt. Autumn Tucci or Master Sgt. Bryan Anderson at 702- 653-2201 or 702-653-2187.