Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Saginaw, Michigan
VA Pharmacy Program Recognized by J.D. Power & Associates
The Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacy program has been recognized by J.D. Power and Associates (JDPA) as one of only 50 companies in the United States to receive the J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champion designation. In 2011, the VA mail-order pharmacy program was recognized as one of 40 companies in the U.S. to earn the distinction as a Service Excellence Champion. This year, that recognition was expanded to include the outpatient pharmacy programs at VA Medical Centers. According to JDPA, the VA pharmacy program is the only federal agency ever named as a Service Excellence Champion.
To qualify as a J.D. Power Customer Service Champion, companies must excel not only within their own industries, but also among leading brands in other major industries. The Customer Service Champion designation is based on customer feedback, opinions, and perceptions gathered from JDPA syndicated research conducted across 15 distinct business-to-consumer industries. According to a March 14th JDPA Press Release, companies recognized as Customer Service Champions are among the top five percent of more than 800 brands based on performance in five key areas:
- People: agent, salesperson, call center representative.
- Presentation: packaging, marketing, facility, website.
- Price: value, price options, financing, bundling.
- Process: transaction, paperwork, wait-time.
- Product: quality, style, features, service.
Known as the J.D. Power 5 PsSM these customer touch-points are “the foundation upon which Champions build excellence. J.D. Power’s experience shows that, regardless of the industry, companies must outperform their competition in some or all of these areas in order to excel in attracting and retaining customers.” VA’s pharmacy program was noted as outperforming in the areas of Presentation and Price compared to the average scores for the other 2012 Champions. Data from the JDPA 2011 National Pharmacy Study were included in the combined data set used to construct a cross-industry scoring system for determining the J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions. The 2011 Pharmacy Study was based on responses from 12,360 customers in the U.S. who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of May-June 2011. Results from the internet-based survey were released to the public on 09/20/11 in a JDPA Press Release. The JDPA study measured customer satisfaction with pharmacies in two segments, brick-and-mortar (channels included: chain, mass merchandiser, supermarket, hospital/clinic) and mail-order. Results for a channel are released to the public when three or more brands are included in that channel. Since results for only two pharmacy groups (VA Medical Centers and Kaiser Permanente) were available in the hospital/clinic channel, results for this group were not provided in the JDPA Press Release. As in 2009 and 2010, customer satisfaction results for VA mail-order pharmacy services were released to the public.
Among mail-order pharmacy customers responding to the JDPA 2011 National Pharmacy Study survey, satisfaction with their pharmacy experience averaged 806 on a 1,000-point scale. VA mail-order pharmacy services received an overall score of 876. Results for mail-order pharmacies were measured on four key factors: cost competitiveness (41%), prescription delivery (28%), prescription ordering (24%), and customer service (6%). Due to insufficient sample size, the VA was not rated on the customer service component. However, VA mail-order pharmacy services were rated Among the Best in each of the other three categories. Overall customer satisfaction with services provided by pharmacies in the hospital/clinic channel of the brick-and-mortar segment averaged 832 on a 1,000-point scale. VAMC pharmacy services were rated and received an overall score of 814. Results for brick-and-mortar pharmacies, including those for the VAMCs, were measured on five key factors: cost competitiveness (22%), non-pharmacist staff (20%), pharmacist (7%), prescription ordering & pick-up process (28%), and store (23%). VAMC pharmacy services scored higher than the channel average in the cost competiveness category. According to the VA National PBM, in FY11 VA pharmacies filled over 139 million outpatient prescriptions for 4.74 million unique patients. Approximately 23 million of those prescriptions were filled at VAMC pharmacies while the remaining 116 million prescriptions were filled using VA mail-order pharmacy services (Mail-93% / VAMC Window-7%).
The JDPA publication, “Beyond Satisfaction: J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions—Brands That Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results,” provides an in-depth, cross-industry analysis of the 2012 Customer Service Champions. For additional information on how these 50 companies use service excellence to differentiate themselves, view the Executive Summary of this JDPA special report.