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MHS Patient Satisfaction Surveys

The survey program was formally established in response to the National Defense Authorization Act Public Law. No. 102-484, § 724, 106 Stat. 2315, 2440 (1992) which states; the administering secretaries shall conduct annually a formal survey of persons receiving health care to determine:  

  • Availability of services provided, type of services received and facilities where provided
  • Familiarity with availability and facilities
  • Health status
  • Satisfaction with system and quality provided
  • Other matters as appropriate

DHA Decision Support Division (DSD) health care scientists collect information to measure beneficiary and staff satisfaction and to support functions such as: strategic planning and marketing; improving quality of care/access; contractual performance; and responding to the Military Health System (MHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) requests. Surveys are benchmarked against national norms. Results are monitored to implement change as appropriate. DSD's DoD Health Care Survey Operations and Information Control provides the direction, coordination and oversight for all DoD-wide health care survey research/operations.

Core Surveys

Survey  Description 
Health Care Survey of DoD Beneficiaries (HCSDB) Conducted since 1995, the HCSDB surveys approximately 300,000 eligible beneficiaries yearly and is designed specifically to collect information on unique issues related to TRICARE administered benefits. The survey provides a comprehensive look at beneficiary opinions about their health, preventative care services, ease of access to health care, health insurance coverage, satisfaction and customer services efforts over the previous 12 months.
TRICARE Inpatient Satisfaction Survey (TRISS)
Survey began in 1999 and evaluates how beneficiaries’ inpatient satisfaction, either at a military treatment facility (MTF) or at a civilian healthcare facility, compares with that of inpatients throughout the nation. Comparison of this information with the results from previous surveys as well as comparisons to civilian benchmark data measure DoD progress in meeting its goals and objectives of high quality health care.
Joint Outpatient Experience Survey (JOES) JOES combines and standardizes the long-standing Services outpatient surveys: Army (AMEDD Provider level Satisfaction Survey- APLSS), BUMED (Patient Satisfaction Survey- PSS), and Air Force (Service Delivery Assessment- SDA). JOES will continue to focus on the beneficiary experience with care received in MTFs.  It will also include a separate monthly survey based on the DHA TRICARE Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (TROSS), called JOES-C (where “C” stands for Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS- clinician and group survey). JOES-C will continue to focus on beneficiary experience in both direct and purchase care provider offices, and will allow MHS to compare our beneficiary results to the civilian benchmark results. JOES will be managed by a tri-Service working group using a single central contract.

Survey Licensure and Clearance

The Survey Licensure and Clearance division provides direction, development, implementation and oversight of survey research for MHS. The department develops policies, strategic plans and operational guidance for survey research and interfaces with other key DoD activities to ensure appropriate approval and licensing of all MHS surveys. In addition, the operational team ensures that goals are met with respect to needs, uses and purposes of surveys and that survey efforts are cost effective, non-duplicative, non-burdensome, efficacious and protect individual privacy.

The primary functions of Survey Operations and Information Control include:

  • Provide timely and accurate information and data for program evaluation, performance management, case management and decision support for the MHS (MCSC 3.0, Population Health, etc)
  • Establish premiere, cost effective and integrated assessment programs
  • Assist in benchmarking the MHS to its civilian counterparts
  • Develop strategy for identifying, articulating and achieving information needs and requirements
  • Oversee survey duplication, burden, cost and quality in and (when feasible) outside the MHS

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