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    Patient participation integral part of medical appointments at NHB

    Patient participation integral part of medical appointments at NHB

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | A Peds Teams group effort for patient participation…Naval Hospital Bremerton’s...... read more read more

    The doctor is in, the old saying goes.

    As is the patient.

    Naval Hospital Bremerton is advocating both.

    Instead of having patients reliant just on their doc, the Defense Health Agency military treatment facility recommends those seeking care to become an active partner in the healthcare relationship.

    The intent, explained Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick, NHB director and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton commanding officer, is to have those arriving for their appointment to be ready to actively participate in the entire process of their medical care.

    “The MHS has much better access than many civilian practices, but it’s critical that all of our patients get the best quality at their appointment,” said Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick, Naval Hospital Bremerton director and Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton commanding officer.

    As part of the Defense Health Agency, NHB falls under the Military Health System of over 700 medical, dental and veterinary hospitals and clinics manned by approximately 140,000 civilian and military personnel who provide care for some 9.6 million action duty, retirees and dependent eligible beneficiaries.

    “I believe it’s increasingly important for patients to be an equal and active partner in their care,” remarked Fitzpatrick.

    DHA’s stated mission is to support the nation by improving health and building readiness, making extraordinary experiences ordinary and exceptional outcomes routine. DHA’s expressed vision is the pursuit of excellence and the privilege to serve those in need…anytime, anywhere, always.

    Yet according to compiled statistics, there are routinely a number of no-shows for scheduled appointments at NHB’s primary care. In fact, there is a daily average of 19 missed appointments, or the equivalent of a full day’s schedule for one primary care team.

    Unfilled appointments are a lost opportunity for someone to get the care they need and prevent someone else from getting an appointment. That’s lost patient care time. Of course, circumstance can pop up that change someone’s schedule. But it’s important to let the hospital know so that we can offer the time slot to someone else.

    Calling the TRICARE Regional Appointment Center [1-800-404-4506], using the DoD electronic health record MHS GENESIS Patient Portal to send a message, leaving a message with one of the Primary Care Clinics (Family Medicine 360-475-4379/Internal Med 360-475-4206/Pediatrics 360-475-4216) can open that slot for another who needs an appointment.

    A typical day of appointments in NHB’s Family Medicine department is predicated on efficiency and effectiveness. Doctors usually see approximately 24 appointments per day with 20 of those face-to-face and the remaining four done on a virtual basis.

    Every patient appointment is based upon four overlapping principles: prepare, interact, bring and engage.

    Prepare refers to writing down concerns, such as “I’m here today because of this cough for 11 weeks,” or “I here to get cleared to return to work after sustaining a fall…” Prepare also means for every patient to review their own medical history, bring relevant medical records, prepare a list of medications and why they are being taken and also to consider any specific health and wellness goals.

    Interact signifies to be open, honest and ask questions during the appointment and discuss treatment options.

    Bring implies the need to have any records or resources, such as identification and insurance information, list of allergies, any medical devices [insulin pump, CPAP] and/or supportive documents including a specialty referral, radiologist interpretation, cd with imagery, etc.

    Patients are also encouraged to engage during their appointment by communicating during the entire process, even if it’s simply acknowledging understanding either a proposed treatment plan or prescribed medication regimen.

    There are also a few additional pointers which NHB leadership stresses.

    “Use Dr. Google with caution…If you are going to use the internet, we suggest sticking with accredited healthcare and medical organization, such as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or our Nurse Advice Line,” Fitzpatrick said.

    Dr. Randall Kelley, NHB Family Medicine department physician affirms it’s in every patient’s best interest to be pro-active.

    “If a patient has information on their health, we want them to please bring and share during the appointment,” said Kelley. “Often, patients also might have more than one concern to discuss. We try to provide as much timely care as we can. But even if some conditions overlap, we suggest they try and schedule more than one appointment.”

    Kelley also stressed that another thing for patients to consider is that during the day of their appointment, if they think they might need lab work to come in early if possible and get it done before being seen. They can contact Family Medicine at 360-475-4379, to see if that is needed.

    “One of the biggest things that all our patients can be is understanding. There are a lot of intricacies involved in everyone’s individual medical care. There are times that an appointment might be taking longer than expected. That’s because we are providing the best care we can to every patient, which is exactly what the next patient is also expecting,” stated Kelley.

    For those who miss an appointment, the hope is that they call beforehand so that slot can be utilized for another.

    Many wrap up their appointment with the need to pick up medications. The Main Pharmacy staff recommends using Q-anywhere or Script Center for preferred prescription pickup. Q-Anywhere is currently available at NHB and Everett Pharmacies only. Eligible patients can use their cell phone to text the words ‘Get in line’ to 1-877-909-2512 to start the process.


    Date Taken: 05.21.2024
    Date Posted: 05.21.2024 09:48
    Story ID: 471851

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