Health & Safety

March 31, 2012

AFSO21 works on reducing ER visits

by Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Tricare Regional Office West recently identified Luke as having one of the highest emergency room visit rates in Tricare’s western region. Because of the high number of emergency room visits, which average 800 to 900 a month and cost roughly $500,000 during that time, the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century set out to reduce the number of unnecessary visits and medical facility expenditures.

Family members visited the emergency room most frequently, and about 50 percent of those visits weren’t necessary.

“A random review for one week indicated that most of our beneficiaries were between ages 0 to 4 and 18 to 34 years of age,” said Maj. Edyta Haggard, 56th Medical Group group project manager.

AFSO21 held an improvement event Feb. 1 through 3, which brought together subject-matter experts from throughout the MDG.

This event focused on military treatment facility enrollees and their patterns of emergency room visits,” Haggard said. “However, this is a national problem and efforts to reduce emergency room rates require a shift in societal behaviors.”

The MDG continuously looks for ways to enhance their service by utilizing the lean healthcare concept, according to Chief Master Sgt. Monica Hill, 56th MDG superintendent.

It teaches how to make processes better, more efficient and effective without adding personnel or additional funding.

“As we all know the Air Force, as well as the budget, is getting smaller, so medical treatment facilities must find ways to use current manpower and resources to not only meet, but exceed the needs of their patients,” she said.

The new methods consist of changes to personalized care so patients want to use the medical facility.

“It is not about temporary changes, it is a complete, fundamental shift in the way we think about our customers, our workforce and our civilian partners,” Hill said.

The process is still a work in progress and won’t launch for another three months. The MDG is hoping to see results within a nine-month period.

“We believe that by decreasing emergency room visits we can positively affect our patients, provide comprehensive primary care, avoid medication errors and increase overall patient satisfaction,” Haggard said.

“We want to be the premiere healthcare choice for our beneficiaries,” Hill said. “We want to secure their trust and empower all patients to take an active role in their healthcare.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handed the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 13 through 19: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 14: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Thunderbird and Kachina streets. There were...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
LAUSANNE KINDER

944th ASTS Airmen saves child

Staff Sgt.LAUSANNE KINDER Tech. Sgt. Jude Joseph, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical technician and eight-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, poses in front of the 944th ASTS building July 8. Joseph was the f...
 
 

Justice Report

The following is a list of administrative actions issued at Luke Air Force Base in June. 56th Maintenance Group Articles 15 • A master sergeant received nonjudicial punishment for wrongful use of marijuana. The member received a reduction to technical sergeant, forfeiture of $1,813 pay per month for two months and a reprimand. • A...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base July 6 through 12: Tickets Security forces issued citations for three moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents July 6: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving a government-owned vehicle and a fixed object at...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

Always take children, pets, elderly when leaving vehicle

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY During the summer, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach in excess of 140 degrees and can be extremely hazardous to a child, pet or elderly person left in a vehicle even for a few minutes. The thoug...
 
 

Hack attacked? Aaack!

You fiercely protect your online identity — regularly change and safeguard your passwords, upgrade your security scan to keep your antivirus software and firewall secure, monitor your credit rating and your bank statement. However, your information still exists online, and it can be vulnerable even when safety measures are in place. Unfortunately, the vulnerability led...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>