country. I was promised health care for the rest of my
HM Door sympathizes, You sound very upset,
You bet Im upset. Now I want to know if youre
going to do something?
Yes sir, answers HM Door, Im going to help you
get the care you need, but first Id like to explain the
Go ahead and explain; Im listening, but youd
better make it good.
Captain Boat, I understand your frustration in
trying to access our system. However, we simply dont
have the number of appointments needed to
accommodate the enormous volume of patients
What, are you kidding? responds the Captain,
Ive always gotten my health care at the base hospital.
HM Door continues, Sir, we do have options for
alternative care if you prefer not to wait for a
space-available appointment. Our Health Benefits
Advisor, Lt. Mary Christmas, can explain these options.
Shes the person at the hospital that can solve problems
like yours. Would you like to talk with her, Captain
I am having so much elbow pain that I guess it does
make sense to talk to someone who can help me get
I can transfer your call to her right now. Let me
give you her phone number in case were disconnected.
The number is 123-4567.
Heath Benefits Officer, Lt. Christmas, may I help
This is Captain Boat, I retired from the service after
30 years and have been seen many times at the base
hospital. I have a referral from primary care to see an
orthopedist, but I was told that there were no available
appointments for at least 2 months.
Lt. Christmas responds, I m glad you called me,
Captain Boat, I can help you locate an orthopedic
physician in the local community through our Health
Care Finder Program or through our Partnership
Program using your CHAMPUS benefits. Would you
like me to explain these two options to you or discuss
the benefits offered through CHAMPUS.
Perhaps I should come to the hospital to talk with
you. Ill be on the base this afternooncan I see you
You sure can. Were located on the first floor in the
patient administration section. Im looking forward to
meeting with you.
Thank you, Ill be there by 1400.
EVALUATION OF CASE NUMBER 8
In a health care environment, there will always be
some angry patients, problems with family members,
and problems with the health care staff. Many of these
problems are unique to this profession. After all, few
people want to be patients. This in turn, creates an
excellent environment for emotional and mental stress.
This case is a example of how positive com-
munication can be used to turn a hostile encounter into
a neutral, if not a pleasant, one. Captain Boat was upset
because he was unable to get an appointment to see an
orthopedic physician. Such encounters happen daily at
military facilities when services to retirees are limited.
Going the extra step to ensure customer satisfaction
is only one part of the HM rating. The actions of Lt.
Christmas and HM Door indicated that they did take that
step. First HM Door reacted patiently and
sympathetically with Captain Boat. He then transferred
Captain Boats call to the patient administration section
to have the problem resolved. Lt. Christmas offered to
help locate a physician in the local community that could
take care of the captains problem. She then went a step
further by offering to explain the benefits available