Posted by: arbeam | January 28, 2014

Puget Sound Enhanced Multi-Service Market Collaboration Meeting Held at Naval Hospital Bremerton

NHBBREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) — Naval Hospital Bremerton hosted U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Cho, Western Regional Medical Command commanding officer and head of the Puget Sound enhanced Multiservice Market (eMSM) for an familiarization visit Jan. 23. “Putting patients first with readiness, better health, better care and lower cost(s) is our goal,” said Cho, explaining that the Puget Sound eMSM is a collaborative medical effort by Army, Navy and Air Force medical assets.

According to Capt. Christopher Quarles, NHB commanding officer, the goal of the eMSM is to ask all respective commands to work together to take care of beneficiaries and provide as much care within the military care system as possible.

“BG Cho is coming to get an orientation of our facility and our capabilities. Naval Hospital Bremerton is a full participate in the Puget Sound eMSM, which is a Department of Defense/Defense Health Agency initiative to recapture care from the network. In other words, asking the military treatment facilities in a given region like Puget Sound to collaborate and do as much as possible to take care of our beneficiaries,” said Quarles.

Senior leadership representatives from Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (NHOH), and U.S. Air Force 62nd Medical Group were in attendance for strategic campaign planning, as well as meet-and-greet and clinical specialty leadership breakout sessions.

“We are a partner in the enhanced multiservice market which began on Oct. 1, 2013 and is expected to be fully operational Oct. 1 2014. Collectively, Madigan Army Medical Center, Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, 62nd Medical Group and NHB are responsible for all beneficiary care within the Puget Sound region,” Quarles said.

Cho explained that by having all services cooperate with their resources, they can help deliver high-quality, cost-effective and integrated health services in the Puget Sound market in support of current and former service members and their families.

“We’re in competition for our own patients and having an integrated health care system to leverage and meet the needs of our patients and be their preferred provider is our goal,” Cho said, explaining that the Puget Sound eMSM plan is to have a system in place for health that maintains, restores and improves the health of the population as their health system of choice.

Quarles stated that the two naval hospitals in the Puget Sound region and Branch Health Clinics at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Station Everett provide patient-centered care for all service members – regardless of their service affiliations.

“As the eMSM progresses there will be more cross service collaboration to ensure that we are doing all we can for all branches of the service as well as family members,” said Quarles.

Cho cited his experience in a joint environment as commanding officer of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany as providing him with positive reinforcement that the Puget Sound eMSM will succeed.

“We want to take our best ideas and move forward in such a way to meet the needs of our patients. How can we help each other? There is great tradition in all branches. We recognize that we’re a team and when a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine is injured and they’re looking up at who is caring for them, they just want to see a qualified person,” Cho said.

It is anticipated that as the eMSM develops, MAMC and NHB can share services and staff such as having Army surgeons operating within NHB or have a Navy physical therapist at MAMC.

“We fully expect to support Army Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs where we can. Right now we have pediatric residents rotating with us. As our GME program draws down, it’s quite possible that Army residents will come do Family Medicine and Obstetric rotations at NHB,” said Quarles.

A prime example of one service branch actively assisting another with medical needs is Naval Hospital Bremerton’s Optical Support Unit Optical Fabrication Shop fabricated 26,565 pairs of glasses for the most recent fiscal year, with most of the orders originating from the Army.

According to Lt. Mike Buyske, Optometry and Optical Fabrication department head, NHB has one of 16 fabrication labs in the Navy not counting Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity.

“Not only do they provide glasses for patients seen at NHB, but also many military clinics across the Pacific Northwest, including Whidbey Island, Joint Base McCord, Fairchild Air Force Base, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and Ft Lewis, to name a few,” said Buyske, citing that the OSU team strives to have a 24-hour turnover on all orders received electronically from other bases, as well as same-day service for patients seen at NHB.

“Actually, the Army is our main customer. About 70 percent of our product goes to them,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Brandon Minyard, a Fort Worth, Texas native and assistant leading petty officer.

Cho stressed that he has personal as well as professional ties with the Navy and Navy Medicine in particular.

“One of the reasons I’m a surgeon is because of the Navy and the direct influence I received at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth,” he said, also sharing that when he transferred from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center he received a departing gift from the assigned Navy personal; a ship’s bell inscribed ‘USS Landstuhl.’

Cho oversees a U.S. Army Medical Department reorganization effort that covers an area of responsibility in 20 states from Alaska to California to Texas. The WRMC has been headquartered at MAMC since October 2009, with the overall mission to provide comprehensive health services in order to optimize force readiness and the health and well-being of the military, family and retired population. The vision of WRMC is to be an integrated and synchronized “Team of Teams” delivering quality, trusted and responsible healthcare.

“We’re only limited by our imagination. There is potential for growth here to continue to meet the needs for our patients. Are their challenges such as distance and traffic? Yes. But we put our minds together, and find common ground to win,” said Cho, noting that telehealth using electronic communications and virtual aid stations are a few options being explored to support distance-related healthcare.

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