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.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Get home safe, use AADD

Making the choice to drink and drive not only affects the drinker but could affect family and friends as well. Driving under the influence can result in loss of pay, reduction in rank and in some cases discharge from the military. To prevent DUIs and save lives, Luke Air Force Base has a program available...
 
 

April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

“The biggest danger is that we could feel or believe that our individual actions don’t matter and we can’t change anything when the opposite is true.” These are the words of Joice Jones, 56th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response coordinator. With the advent of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, commonly known as...
 

 

Use responsible drinking guideline ‘0-0-1-3’

Many people would agree that in today’s society alcohol has been commercialized to the point one would believe drinking is a rite of passage, much like learning to drive. Alcohol is typically portrayed in commercials as a party enhancer, as a means to become instantly cool, or as an indispensable relaxation aide. However, the most...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security forces Squadron handled the following incidents March 24 through 30: Tickets Security forces issued citations for one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents March 25: Security forces responded to a report of a DUI at Lightning Gate. Security forces detected an alcohol odor on the person, and observed blood shot eyes and slurred speech....
 
 
Untitled-1

First-time motorcycle experience long time coming

I was in my sophomore year of high school and was about to cross the street to the school’s main courtyard when I heard a loud low vroom. I looked over and there it was – a blue Yamaha R6. It was as if everything went into ...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin