Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Medical group finds innovative ways to improve health care service

By Lt. Col. Brent Sonday

21st Medical Squadron commander

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Since its activation in June, the 21st Medical Squadron has purposefully implemented changes and added programs to the Schriever Clinic in an effort to improve patient services. The 21st MDS, part of the 21st Medical Group, serves a population of approximately 2,000 personnel at Schriever AFB. Increasing patient services has been a constant in the new squadron, in-line with their ultimate vision of “Dominating Innovative One-Stop Patient-Centered Medicine.” The Air Force Medical Service invested 30 additional positions to support these efforts in the FY12 POM.

There are quite a few changes taking place in several phases as the squadron continues to enhance patient services. A new health and wellness flight recently stood up at the Health and Wellness Center inside the restricted area. Members in the new flight consist of a health promotions program manager, bioenvironmental technician, nutritional health technician, public health technician and an administrative technician. A flight surgeon and nurse will soon be added to the team as well. Establishing these providers inside the RA allows patients the convenience of not having to leave the RA and travel across base for many elements of medical care — improving customer service and saving their time for other mission essential tasks.

New services provided inside the RA consist of preventive health assessments, medical and overseas clearances for those enrolled with family practice and flight medicine, and regularly scheduled patient care and walk-in visits. Flight medicine services, including return-to-controller status and duties not to include controlling, are also available. All of these services will also continue to be provided at the main Schriever Clinic. (To enroll at the Schriever Clinic call (888) 874-9378.)

Recently, the squadron also added a full time active-duty pharmacist at the main Schriever Clinic — enhancing pharmaceutical services and providing patients immediate filling and dispensing of prescriptions. In the future, the Schriever pharmacy will also be able to provide a limited number of controlled substances for its patients. The Schriever Clinic also recently welcomed the arrival of two dentists and support staff, advancing their dental continuity of care.

The way ahead for the new 21st Medical Squadron involves providing mental health services for both active duty and family members, and bringing on-board a full time physician assistant to serve the Schriever population alongside our current active duty physician. These new ideas will enhance the access to care and improve continuity of care for patients, ensuring focus of readiness and patient satisfaction goals are met.

As the population and patient enrollment continues to grow, the Air Force Medical Service will evaluate the need to expand the size of the clinic. In the meantime, the 21st Medical Squadron leadership team will continue to strategically plan and innovate — phasing in more immediate patient-centered services as they transition into the future. The 21st MDS motto “Medics Dominating Space” drives this unique squadron as it continues to increase services to better serve patients.

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