Posted by: arbeam | June 2, 2014

Naval Hospital Bremerton transition changes and VA community support due this summer

NHBThe ‘Emergency Room’ sign might be changing to read ‘Urgent Care Clinic’ at Naval Hospital Bremerton, but the same high-level of patient centered care will still be in place for all beneficiaries. “We are not closing our hospital nor are we discontinuing services,” said Capt. Christopher Quarles, Naval Hospital Bremerton Commanding Officer.

The conversion of the Emergency Room to an Urgent Care Center (UCC) by September will be the most noticeable transitional change at NHB. Other planned modifications include the closing of the NHB Intensive Care Unit and the Puget Sound Family Medicine Graduate Medical Education program being phased out by 2016.

NHB’s Emergency Room has traditionally treated a low volume (less than three percent) with actual life, limb or sight-threatening medical emergencies. An UCC provides the ability to deal with a wide spectrum of medical ailments from a mild case of poison ivy to handling broken bones, stitching up cuts, and caring for minor burns or bruises.

The NHB UCC will be available to beneficiaries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with acute care needs handled on a case-by-case basis.

In emergency cases, patients will be transferred via ambulance to the local Emergency Room at a community hospital such as Harrison Medical Center.

Along with internal reconfigurations and updates, NHB has also expanded out into the community by signing a Sharing Agreement with Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS).

The agreement links both organizations in providing specific types of medical care to current Veterans Affairs eligible beneficiaries enrolled to the Bremerton Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). As the mission and operational tempo permits, NHB will provide urgent/emergent and inpatient medical services to those 3,829 current VA eligible beneficiaries in the VAPSHCS CBOC. Appointment will be made on a space available basis subject to capability and capacity and are expected to commence in June.

NHB’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care Center Services for authorized VA beneficiaries will include diagnostic tests and professional services. Emergency Medicine Services at Naval Hospital Bremerton are currently scheduled to transition to Urgent Care Services by Sept. 2014. When that transition occurs, NHB will no longer be able to provide Emergency Medicine Services to any beneficiaries. However, Urgent Care Services will be available for VA beneficiaries in accordance with the agreement.

Inpatient services provided by NHB will include but are not limited to; cardiology, endoscopy, ENT, gastroenterology, gynecology, neurology, ophthalmology, pulmonology, general surgery, orthopedics, and urology.

Laboratory and Pathology services will include anatomical pathology, chemistry, hematology and microbiology to support urgent/emergent and inpatient medical services.

Radiology services will include Nuclear Medicine CT, MRI, US, X-ray and angiography to support urgent/emergent and inpatient medical services.

Blood Product services for inpatients and outpatients will be calculated using direct materials, direct labor and direct production costs.

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

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