Health center intends to improve services

Members of the Southern Ute Health Center gather for a photo. The department underwent a customer service-training seminar on Friday, May 30 at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy to improve on the services provided by the Southern Ute Health Center. These services include reducing the waiting time for appointments, viewing basic conducts, and finding the right form of communication between physicians and patients.
Chief Medical Officer, Michael Torres, lectures members of the Southern Ute Indian Health Center about the fundamental principles of loyal customer service when treating patients and tribal members. The lecture took place on May 30 and was held at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

The Southern Ute Health Center is aiming to enhance the services for tribal members by improving communication and relationships between staff and patients. Michael Torres, chief medical officer, held a training seminar for the department at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy on Friday, May 30 to address the improvement of patient satisfaction.

“This is about basic manners and courtesy,” Torres stated. “It’s a reminder that we’re in the service business. And as any other service agency, we need to be mindful of those things.”

The training exercises included a video that documented how physicians should thoroughly attend to patients. Health center associates then answered questions related to the addressed issues to freshen up their knowledge.

Expectations have now been set to make sure staff has been fully trained in the department.

“There are now expectations and directions that supervisors will be watching and holding staff accountable for,” Torres said. “We need to make sure they are falling through with the training.”

Traffic flow with patients has been a concern for the Health Center as the waiting time continued to increase with the influx of patients. The department has reached a point in modifying proper customer service after seeing an increase in patients by approximately 47 percent on a weekly basis. This decreases the time from the moment of arriving and leaving, Torres said.

“We would use to see less patients, now we have decreased the amount of time it takes to process patients through the system. In optometry, it’s doubled,” he said.

The Southern Ute Health Center is expecting to continue with these trainings as the department continues to expand with the new modular. Patients will now see a doubled number of service rooms including an expanded optometry and dentistry center complete with fully trained staff.

Margo Yaeger, Health Center nurse, stated the benefits of the training seminar.

“One thing here at the center is there are always new people,” she said.  “For those of us that have been here, we are able to facilitate those introductions and talk about people’s experiences. Not just for the staff, but also for tribal members. We are just trying to work together and make our patients feel more comfortable when facing newer physicians.”

Patients who need to schedule an appointment can call the Southern Ute Health Center at 970-563-4581.

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