Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
Prosthetics Renovation Improves Customer Service
Every day, the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center (JCMVAMC) Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Service provides equipment and services to approximately 40-50 patients and sometimes as many as 65 per day at the Muskogee hospital.
These range from items worn by the Veteran, such as an artificial limb or hearing aid; those that improve accessibility, such as ramps and vehicle modifications; to devices surgically placed in the Veteran, such as hips and pacemakers.
To meet patient demand and to improve customer service, the medical center completed a renovation of Prosthetics in June which included the addition of two new exam rooms and increased space for product storage and office space.
The project also involved the renovation of current storage space to increase the number of items the service can carry. All shelving units were removed and replaced with slatted boards, which allows staff to customize the space to fit items.
“Now, we’re not restricted to only being able to carry what the shelves will hold,” said Lisa Hamilton, Chief, Prosthetics & Sensory Aids Service. “We’re actually able to expand and carry items that we feel are better for the Veterans.”
The project also created a new “quick pick area,” which stores high volume items that are frequently given to Veterans. With more items in stock, the service has significantly reduced the amount of time Veterans have to wait to receive items.
“Patients who have been using us for years are used to coming in and having to wait and wait,” said Hamilton. “Now, they come up to the window and they’re gone before they’re even thought about sitting down.”
The renovation has also significantly reduced wait times for diabetic shoes and most Veterans can now receive diabetic shoes the same day their provider enters a consult.
“What we’re doing is stocking shoes in the bulk of the sizes,” said Hamilton. “Our goal is to give you the shoes at the time that you come. We can’t have every single pair, but we’re expanding the amount of shoes that we carry.”
Korean War Veteran Charles Gay, who has been a Prosthetics patient at the hospital since 1955, said he is pleasantly surprised with the reduced wait time for diabetic shoes.
“It used to be 60 to 90 days,” said Gay. “Now, it’s almost instant. This blows my mind how things have changed over here. I’m really impressed that it’s that quick.”
JCMVAMC also has plans to renovate the Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Service Office at the Ernest Childers VA Outpatient Clinic in Tulsa.