Improved Care through Patient Centered Medical Home
By Maj. Shawn McFarland, 366th MDG / Published January 11, 2013
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
Whether you are active duty or retired, you likely have noticed that military medicine and continuity of care have not always been synonymous.
Due to the nature of the military and our providers deploying downrange or moving every three to four years, patients often have seen a different provider every time they go into the clinic. However, the Air Force has developed a program to change this.
In August 2011, the 366th Medical Group's Family Health and Pediatric Clinics began an exciting new program known as the Patient Centered Medical Home. This program was developed through an idea known as the Family Health Initiative, which was spelled out in Air Force Instruction 44-171, dated Jan. 18, 2011.
This program attempts to improve access and continuity when it comes to your medical care. We are very excited about this program in our clinics because, as of August 2012, we have a full complement of providers (doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician's assistants).
In addition, we do not anticipate any large turnover of providers in the near future. The Family Health Initiative establishes a "team approach" to your medical care. Each team is comprised of two providers, one nurse and five medical technicians. Each provider will have at least 90 appointments per week available for patients.
In addition, this program invigorates our Disease Management Program to help better serve our patients with complex medical problems. You will be assigned a specific provider and will see that provider every time you come into the clinic.
If you are unable to see your specific provider, you will see the other provider on "your team" for your care. By doing this, you will get to know the providers managing your health care needs and they will get to know you.
The hope is that with time, you will not have to "start over" every time you come into the clinic. Team A in Family Health is comprised of Maj. Major, Capt. Glower, their nurse Ms. Bartomeo and their cadre of medical technicians. Team B is comprised of Capt. Ehleringer, Capt. Schwartz, their nurse, Ms. Kozain and their medical technicians. Team C is led by Capt. Healey, 1st Lt. Gary and their nurse Mr. Ling, along with their team of medical technicians.
In our Pediatric Clinic, there is one team of three physicians, Maj. McFarland, Capt. Morrison and Capt. Tschudy, along with their nurses, Ms. Storduer and Capt. Schriner, as well as their team of medical technicians. For many of you, these will be your providers and teams for the next few years. Our hope is that through this program you will be able to more easily access the care you need, when you need it, with a provider who knows you and your family.
Our Urgent Care Center remains available for 24-hour care. However, we hope that through improved access and continuity, you will not need to utilize this service as frequently. We often have availability in our clinics, so please call 828-7900 prior to going to the UCC to see if you can be seen by your provider. We are excited about this new program and look forward to continuing to support our Gunfighters and their families' healthcare needs.