Beckley VA Medical Center recognized nationally for patient experience

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Beckley VA Medical Center has been recognized as a top nationwide hospital for patient experience.

The VAMC was rated by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. They’re a nationally-recognized hospital assessor that uses patient surveys to rate medical centers. According to Becky Trent, a patient advocate, it’s a pleasure to be recognized on the national level. 

“I’ve been the patient advocate for almost eight years and it feels really good. I’m just honored that we are able to achieve something of this caliber,” Trent said. 

Ratings are determined by random surveys given to adult patients with all types of medical conditions. Patient experience involves anything that a hospital does to make a patient’s stay as easy as possible. According to Gavin Vanhoose, a veterans experience officer, it’s the little things that make a patient’s stay better in the long run. 

“It makes you feel good to see that it is being recognized nationally. It is hard; we come to work, and just to provide something as simple as a hello, how are you doing can go a long way,” Vanhoose said. 

The VAMC has also been upgrading a lot of what they do that involves the patients. From everything involving regular interactions, to how they serve food. Their director Desmond McMullan says it’s a pleasure for them to serve veterans in any way they can, especially during a pandemic. 

“Every piece of energy, everything that we do is about veterans. So it’s important to not only keep our veterans safe, but we must also keep our staff safe, and that’s what we’re here for,” McMullan said. 

Nearly 3,500 hospitals have been nationally rated for patient experience. Many hospitals only have three or four stars in this category, and only 266 in the entire nation have five stars. In the state of West Virginia, now counting the VAMC, only four hospitals have five stars in patient experience.

Only eight hospitals in the Veterans Health Administration are nationally recognized with five stars in patient experience.