WAHC focuses on prevention

Photo by Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com

Photo by Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com

The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic wants to optimize the health of Soldiers, families, and retirees all year round by initiating a special focus on Preventive Medicine.

The goal of this initiative is to build a strong Army community that understands the value of preventive health care services and one that seeks care not only for acute needs.

The WAHC team of professionals along with new WAHC Commander Lt. Col. Nelson So, invite you to take charge of your health and join this very important mission.

Many patients may have already heard the term HEDIS being used among health care organizations. HEDIS stands for Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. It is a tool put out by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and is used by more than 90 percent of America’s health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service. The goal is to transition from a health care system that focuses on treating someone who is ill, to a system for health that promotes both health and prevention. WAHC is following these standards of care and looking closely at the monthly data being collected on specific health care measures.

The HEDIS measures address a broad range of important health issues, from management of low back pain and diabetes to screening for cancer to well-child visits. Patients may have already gotten phone calls or a “Relay Health” message from nurses stating you are “Due” or “Overdue” for different cancer screenings, chlamydia testing, diabetes care, or well child visits. Or perhaps during a recent visit, the diligent WAHC medics identified you are due for a mammogram, colonoscopy, or pap smear.

The clinic providers are looking at chief complaints for patient visits and taking a holistic approach by considering, “Is my patient up to date on their preventive medicine screenings?”
Medical Director Lt. Col. David Escobedo meets weekly with staff and specifically reviews staff performance on preventive services. Escobedo evaluates areas where the clinic is excelling and areas for improvement.

“We want our patients to get the preventive services they need, and if they are not, we need to look at why,” said Escobedo.
Synchronizing resources is a major component of the initiative.

A Population Health Nurse Practitioner recently joined the health care team to coordinate efforts to track preventive medicine services, educate clinic staff on each measure, and raise community awareness on when patients should get screened and what options are available.

“This is a clinic-wide multidisciplinary approach to partner-up with our patients and help them stay up to date on preventive health care,” So said.

Other clinic departments such as Physical Therapy or Wellness Center appointments currently send reminders to patients for specific preventive medicine services. The clinic believes it may be easier for patients to proceed to their health care team and simply schedule an appointment while already in the facility. We want to help make getting your screenings done as easy and seamless as possible So said.

For those patients that have had screenings done outside the Military Treatment Facility, the clinic asks you to bring copies of all records to the TRICARE office in the clinic so the reports can be added to your medical charts and given to your primary care provider for review. If they are in another language they will be sent for translation.

The clinic is asking patients to review the HEDIS measures and consider, “Am I due for a screening?”

Appointments can be scheduled through the Central Appointment Line at civ (06371) 9464-5762 or sign up for “Relay Health”, the WAHC secure messaging system and sends your health care team a message to discuss options.

The WAHC looks forward to working with you to build a strong, healthy, and prevention driven community.

Am I due for a screening? 

Breast Cancer (Women)
Ages: 50 to 74
Test: Mammogram every 2 years.

Cervical Cancer Screenings (Women)
Ages: 21 to 64
Test: PAP smear every 3 years or PAP smear + HPV test every 5 yrs (option for women 30 to 64 years)

Chlamydia Screening (Women)
Ages: 16 to 24
Test: Urine, vaginal, or cervical testing.

Colon Cancer Screenings (Women & Men)
Ages: 50 to 75
Test: Colonoscopy every
10 years, or Flexible
Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or Fecal occult blood test yearly.

Diabetes Care Type 1/Type 2 (Women & Men)
Ages: 18 to 75
Test: Hemoglobin A1c levels monitored at least yearly. Customized A1c target goal.

Well-Child Visits
Ages: From birth to the age of 15 months.
Required: At least total of six well-child visits.

Low Back Pain Imaging
Ages: 18 to 50
Reviews utilization of appropriate imaging studies for “new diagnosis” of low back pain.