While I was at the hospital yesterday (Walter Reed in Bethesda), I dropped off a package for the OMFS Commander. I wrote her a letter, which I tried to keep short but it was like 4 pages haha... I wanted her to know how pleased I was with the quality of care I received throughout my surgery and recovery and I wanted her to know that it's not just the surgeons, the enlisted personnel and the civilian staff are all excellent there.
I gave her the letter in both printed and electronic form so she got the printed letter that I signed, plus the files which I digitally signed and burned to a disc. On the disc I included the current PDF of my Jaw Recovery Playbook recipes, so she could have that if she wants it, and I tossed in one of the cards I made to share the site with other patients. I gave her just one in the envelope with her letter and disc, but I also left a stack of about 50 cards with the package so she could give them to the surgeons to share with patients if she wants.
I know it seems like a lot, but this is a military facility and a training hospital and I think it's important for the commanders to know when they're doing something good and when their department is making a difference for patients. With the ICE system, most of the time the only time a patient says anything is when they have a complaint and that can actually undermine productivity if the complaint isn't really helpful. Now, since I've filed my fair share of complaints, I wanted to make sure that I put effort into my praise for this experience and the people involved so that's why I chose to submit a letter instead of go through the ICE system.
Don't Let Your Only Comments Be Negative Ones
Walter Reed isn't the only training hospital in the military healthcare system, so I also want to strongly encourage other patients within the military medical system, whether Army, Navy or otherwise, to do the same. If some part of your healthcare experience was just excellent, or if all of it was excellent.... don't wait! Put it into words and get it to the right people!
Not good with words? Don't let that be your excuse! Contact me and I will help you put it into words and tell you how to figure out where to send or bring it. Trust me, if you ever had a bad experience with healthcare, you should know how valuable this type of praise and "thank you" is. Our thank you letters and praise help shape the way the military healthcare system provides our care... Don't keep good experiences to yourself, share them.