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59th MDW improving clinical care, occupational services

  • Published
  • By Shannon Carabajal
  • 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
Now open on the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center’s second floor, a 59th Medical Wing Base Operational Medicine Clinic is improving access to health care for beneficiaries at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

The BOMC initiative improves the patient experience and streamlines administrative health care processes by separating traditional clinical services from occupational medicine.

“Upon receiving the request to implement the Base Operational Medicine Clinic, the 59th Medical Wing immediately organized resources and executed a well thought out plan. We are genuinely committed to providing innovative and patient-centered health care to our beneficiaries and BOMC is another tool that allows us to do just that!” said Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Bart Iddins, 59th MDW commander.

“BOMC puts a focus on continuous process improvement and quality patient care. We’re standardizing processes and increasing access for everybody, whether they are sick, injured or in need of administrative, occupational services,” said Col. (Dr.) Karyn Condie, 59th MDW Chief of Aerospace Medicine and the JBSA public health emergency officer.

Separating clinical care from occupational medicine lets medical providers devote more time to taking care of ill and injured patients. But the true man-hour savings benefits patients who can now accomplish the majority of required tasks in one location, saving many hours in travel and scheduling, said Lt. Col. Judy Rattan, flight and operational medicine flight commander with the 559th Aerospace Medicine Squadron.

“I’m very excited about this initiative. In the past, folks had to visit three or four different clinical locations in order to complete administrative functions. Under BOMC, all these clinical services are collocated in one area – a one-stop shop,” Rattan said.

BOMC services include:

•  Occupational Health
•  Occupational Medicine
•  Deployment Health
•  The Medical Employee Health Program
•  Medical Standards Management Element
•  Preventative Health Assessment
•  Personal Reliability Program
•  Separation History Physical Examinations

A BOMC detachment at the Reid Clinic administers initial flight physicals for Air Force basic military trainees going into an enlisted firefighter or aviation career fields. Annually, the clinic cares for more than 86,000 basic trainees and technical training students on JBSA-Lackland.

Because up to 5,000 trainees need initial flight physicals each year, a detachment near the BMT campus makes sense. It limits missed training time for basic trainees, said Jose Rodriguez, physical exams manager with the 559th AMDS.

Condie said that although the wing stood up BOMC, it did not reduce staff at the primary care clinics.

“Manning that was once in the separate (occupational medicine) clinics will now be pooled into one location and become more integrated,” she explained.

“This is the way of the future. All 75 Air Force military treatment facilities will be conducting operations the same way, using the same checklists. This will improve efficiency. As medical technicians change assignments from one location to another, they will not need to retrain to learn how to do the same job at a different base,” Rattan added.