by Senior Airman Laura L. Valentine
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/6/2014 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The
20th Medical Group was recently competitively selected as one of only
three out of 74 Air Force military treatment facilities to receive
specialized training on the patient centered medical home model in order
to fine-tune the quality of care the facility provides.
A Patient-Centered Medical Home team from Joint Base San Antonio - Fort
Sam Houston, Texas, led by Maj. Ernest Perez, 383rd Training Squadron
PCMH Operations program course director, delivered the training to 20th
MDG personnel here, Feb. 25-28.
"The patient-centered medical home is an approach to providing
comprehensive primary care through an individual's life by facilitating
partnerships between the patient, their personal providers, and when
appropriate, the patient's family," Perez said. "The overall goal is to
improve quality care effectively and efficiently while reducing costs."
Since 2009, medical treatment facilities across the Air Force have
turned their care focus to the PCMH model, a method used widely across
civilian medical care facilities as well.
The 20th MDG is recognized as a PCMH by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
"The clinic has put this healthcare model into motion and has been
extremely effective, as evident by their recent Air Combat Command 2013
Surgeon General Annual Award for Best Clinic of the Year," Perez said.
At the 20th MDG, there are five teams comprised of a provider, a nurse
practitioner, medical technicians and administrative technicians who
work together. The continuity of that team is key, said Maj. Karyn
Revelle, 20th Medical Operations Squadron flight commander.
That continuity is what allows medical teams to work efficiently throughout the day and better take care of their patients.
The PCMH team helped create the foundation for training all members of
the medical group so all understand the model and are able to train
During the course, availability care was limited so the maximum number of medical personnel could benefit.
Training covers not only specific details of daily operations, but also a
basic understanding of the PCMH as it's used across the medical group.
"It's a great program because it doesn't just focus on the patient care
aspect of the PCMH," said Senior Airman Kyle Bettis, 20th MDOS medical
technician. "It's the bigger picture, the whole concept, which is
important for the new Airmen to understand."
The mobile team was able to teach the entire medical group team rather
than having one or two individuals travel to Texas for the course. This
way, trainers can better understand the local group dynamics and
determine if improvement is needed in particular areas.
The mobile course can essentially make up for six to eight months of
on-the-job training for team members who would alternatively use that
time trying to understand the requirements individually, Revelle said.
As a mid-sized clinic, the 20th MDG Family Health Clinic schedules
approximately 58,000 appointments a year and sees roughly 1,100 patients
"The 20th MDG is already moving in the right direction because of the
mentality of teamwork, holding each other accountable and taking
ownership of patients," Perez said. "They aren't complacent with their
success and continue to improve the care experience."
Driven by the same standards as off-base providers, the 20th MDG uses
the same resources and benchmarks to mirror quality of care. By using
the PCMH, providers are able to build rapport through emphasizing
communication with and empowering the patient, facilitating continuity
of care and improving access to care.
"Our Air Force Chief of Staff notes that every Airman has a story to
tell," said Col. Curt Prichard, 20th MDG commander. "Through PCMH, we
are able to learn every patient's story and then provide them the
personalized care and preventative tools to make their story one of not
only good health, but the best health possible."