FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – A team of Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians were formally recognized Oct. 21 for their innovative process-improvement initiative that streamlined patient access to behavioral health resources enhancing patient outcomes and medical readiness.
U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle and Army Medicine Chief of Staff and Chief of the Army Medical Department Civilian Corps Mr. Richard Beauchemin presented a team from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the coveted Army Medicine Wolf Pack Award during a virtual award ceremony.
“You all should be extremely pleased because there are a lot of entries that go in for the Wolf Pack Award and for you all to receive this extreme honor speaks volumes about the impact you and the entire team are having not just on the installation there, but in the entire United States Army,” said Dingle, over a virtual teleconference.
Created by the 43rd Army Surgeon General and the fourth AMEDD Civilian Corps Chief, the Wolf Pack Award is issued quarterly and recognizes exceptional teamwork by an integrated group of military and civilian team members focused on excellence in support of Army Medicine.
BACH’s team was recognized for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 for their efforts to better incorporate the hospital’s behavioral health consultants within the hospital’s primary care clinics to enhance patient outcomes and medical readiness. During the initiative, internal behavioral health consultants were assigned to each of BACH’s medical homes, where beneficiaries receive their primary medical care. Consultants support healthy behavior changes such as increasing exercise, decreasing work or home stress, quitting smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure management, and weight management. They also help patients develop plans for improving sleep, managing diabetes, managing chronic pain, migraine management, and modifying alcohol use. Prior to the process improvement project, which began in 2018, their services were underutilized.
“Having behavioral health consultants within our primary care clinics is a great benefit for all enrolled beneficiaries to receive behavioral health support, whether immediately following a primary care visit or scheduled at a later time,” said Col. Patrick T. Birchfield, hospital commander. “This system makes the referral process easy for both the patient and the medical team.”
The behavioral health consultants operate within primary care treatment teams, offering behavioral interventions, counseling, and various treatment modalities and work hand-in-hand with primary care teams to improve a patient’s overall health and quality of life.
BACH’s project focused on four main areas: increasing referrals, improving integration into a holistic model of care, increasing self-referral appointments and warm hand-off of patients to behavioral health consultants, and removing barriers to referring patients.
The project more than doubled the number of face-to-face clinical encounters per day and decreased the patient no-show rate by 15 percent. The team instituted multiple revisions and changes that enhanced the overall patient-centered medical experience, and streamlined patient access for numerous behavioral health needs including reformulating their methods as a result of the pandemic.
“Most of my appointments have been and continue to be virtual health phone calls since the pandemic. My face-to-face appointments are increasing but a lot of people still feel more comfortable with the phone calls,” said Ms. Joan Lovett, one of the hospital’s behavioral health consultants and Wolf Pack awardee. Each consultant sees eight to 13 patients per day either virtually or face-to face and the need for their service and its impact on readiness continues to grow.
“We’ve obviously seen an increase in stress, anxiety and depression, said Lovett, in reference to beneficiaries reacting to the pandemic. The behavioral health consultants are committed to helping patients adjust to the “new normal.”
“Throughout the project our team members met regularly, identifying measurable goals, implementing protocols and tracking the data. By the end of the project, we could see the success it provided to our beneficiaries and we could share our model with other military treatment facilities within the military health system,” said Birchfield. “These efforts and their adjustments for continued success during the initiative, and in light of COVID response, illustrate exceptional teamwork and noteworthy outcomes by our team.”
Military Health System beneficiaries enrolled at BACH who would like to speak with a behavioral health consultant may call the hospital appointment line at 270-798-4677 to request an appointment.
To learn more about the Army Wolf Pack Award visit https://ameddciviliancorps.amedd.army.mil/wolf-pack-award
|Date Posted:||10.26.2020 15:42|
|Location:||FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US|
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