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.


 
 

 
Lightening-within-five

Lightning over Luke …

The F-35 Lightning II isn’t the only lightning striking over Luke Air Force Base. This strike, about five miles west of the Luke flightline, was captured on camera at 1:12 a.m. Aug. 12 at the jet engine test cell.
 
 

Program smooths change from military to civilian life

It can be difficult to find work in today’s economy, even more so for families that are moving to a new area or families that are transitioning from military to civilian life. One program available to veterans is the Workforce Investment Act, which can help veterans have a smooth transition to civilian work. The 56th...
 
 

New form second chance to do EPRs right

Without fail, every time I am around a group of young NCOs, there is one subject guaranteed to come up — the enduring question of “How can I write a stronger EPR for my Airman?” My answer to this question is fairly standard and is one that a chief shared with me many years ago....
 

 

Plan for final out

How many of you are prepared for life outside of the military? Seriously, if you were told tomorrow was your final out, what would you do? We are currently in an environment where Defense Department rollbacks are a serious issue we must all contemplate. Fewer officers are being commissioned. Last year there was only one...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

Commander’s call Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, will hold a commander’s call Monday in the Luke Air Force Base theater at 7 a.m. for Airmen, 9 a.m. for NCOs, 11 a.m. for senior NCOs, 1 p.m. for civilians, 3 p.m. for officers and 5 p.m. for those not able to make another...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
JAMES HENSLEY

Commandant challenges students to be best

Airman 1st ClassJAMES HENSLEY Master Sgt. Sheris Poisson, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant, briefs students Aug. 12 about the active-shooter exercise Aug. 15 at Luke Air Force Base. Poisson asked ...
 




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