Monday, July 27, 2009

Pilot Phase of New Hospital Appointment Line Nears End

The long promised new appointment telephone system at the hospital will not be in the pilot phase for much longer. The hospital is finalizing a few technical discrepancies before announcing that it’s fully operational.

Staff have reengineered several points of entry that will promote the best access for you. Please note: the Walk-In Appointment Desk on the 1st Floor near the TRICARE Service Center is now available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-in requests will be handled at the appropriate Primary Care clinics from 7:30 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

The Nurse Run Clinic line and the Appointment Cancellation line are now being monitored and handled through Appointment Line 830-2752. Please do not leave messages at X2812 or X2655 as they are no longer being monitored through this venue. Also, when using the new phone system please ensure that you leave messages in the appropriate voice mailboxes. For example, do not leave a message to book an appointment or receive lab results on the Appointment Cancellation Line. These mailboxes are monitored by the right qualified staff member to handle your specific requests.

The Customer Relations Officer is also available during normal working hours from 830-2475. The Customer Relations Officer, whose office is located opposite the Quarterdeck on the 1st Floor, is available to listen and address your concerns regarding any issue you may have.

TRICARE on Line is another appointment option. Mr. Bob Knight, Template Manager, can be reached at 830-2590 for registration difficulties. You also have the option of contacting the Clinic Business Manager, Commander Sharon Kingsberry at 830-2942 if you have not received a return call.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Hospital Appointment Phone Line in Testing Phase

Great news, the long promised new appointment telephone system at the
hospital has now been installed and is currently in the pilot phase. During
this testing phase, if you are still having difficulty reaching an
appointment clerk at 830-2752, you can still contact the Quarterdeck at 830-2190.
Besides receiving external calls, the Quarterdeck responds to many internal
hospital issues and on an occasion you may have to wait a few minutes to
reach the receptionist. The Walk-In Appointment Desk on the 1st Floor near
the TRICARE Service Center is still available from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.,
Monday through Friday. The appointment clerks are available to directly
handle your appointment requests for any clinic. The Customer Relations
Officer is also available during normal working hours from 830-2475. The
Customer Relations Officer, whose office is located opposite the Quarterdeck
on the 1st Floor, is available to listen and address your concerns regarding
any issue you may have. Tricare on Line is another
appointment option. Mr. Bob Knight, Template Manager, can be reached at
830-2590 for registration difficulties. You also have the option of
contacting the Outpatient Business Manager, Commander Sharon Kingsberry at
830-2942, if you have not received a call back from someone in Primary Care.
As always, if you are not satisfied with the response time and your concern
is prompting you to get medical care, the Emergency Medicine Department is
always open.

Tips for Older Adults to Combat Heat-Related Illnesses

Risk of Heat-Related Problems Increases with Age

As we age, our ability to adequately respond to summer heat can become a serious problem. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has some advice for helping older people avoid heat-related illnesses, known collectively as hyperthermia, during the summer months.

Hyperthermia can include heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after exercising in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion. The risk for hyperthermia is a combination of the outside temperature along with the general health and lifestyle of the individual. Health-related factors that may increase risk include:

* Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat glands
* Heart, lung and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever
* High blood pressure or other conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on salt-restricted diets may increase their risk. However, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.
* The inability to perspire,caused by medications such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and certain heart and blood pressure drugs
* Taking several drugs for various conditions. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
* Being substantially overweight or underweight
* Drinking alcoholic beverages
* Being dehydrated

Lifestyle factors can also increase risk, including extremely hot living quarters, lack of transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places and not understanding how to respond to weather conditions. Older people, particularly those at special risk, should stay indoors on particularly hot and humid days, especially when there is an air pollution alert in effect. People without fans or air conditioners should go to places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or cooling centers which are often provided by government agencies, religious groups, and social service organizations in many communities.

Heat stroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia that occurs when the body is overwhelmed by heat and unable to control its temperature. Someone with a body temperature above 104 degrees is likely suffering from heat stroke and may have symptoms of confusion, combativeness, strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, faintness, staggering, possible delirium or coma. Seek immediate medical attention for a person with any of these symptoms, especially an older adult.

If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:

* Get the person out of the sun and into an air-conditioned or other cool place.
* Offer fluids such as water, fruit and vegetable juices, but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
* Encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water.
* Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits, and/or groin, places where blood passes close to the surface and the cold cloths can help cool the blood.
* Urge the person to lie down and rest, preferably in a cool place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Consumer Health Care Council Meeting Set for July 28

The Consumer Health Care Council will meet July 28 at 2 p.m. in Classroom 4 at the Naval Hospital.

This quarterly meeting is held to provide health care consumers with an effective means of presenting their views concerning the operation of the health care delivery system. The input gathered from this meeting is very important to the hospital as some decisions for patient services are based on that input.

The meeting is also held to provide the hospital leadership with an opportunity to communicate face to face with the hospital’s customers.

Everyone is invited… active duty, family members and military retirees… you opinion is important.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weight Loss Basics

Your weight is a balancing act and calories are part of that equation. Fad
diets may promise you that counting carbs or eating a mountain of grapefruit
will make the pounds drop off. But when it comes to weight loss, it's
calories that count. Weight loss comes down to reducing extra calories from
food and beverages and increasing calories burned through physical activity.

Once you understand that equation, you're ready to set your weight-loss
goals and make a plan for reaching them. Remember, you don't have to do it
alone. Talk to your doctor, family and friends for support. Also, plan
smart: Anticipate how you'll handle situations that challenge your resolve
and the inevitable minor setbacks.

If you have serious health problems because of your weight, your doctor may
suggest weight-loss surgery or medications for you. In this case, you and
your doctor will need to thoroughly discuss the potential benefits and the
possible risks.

But don't forget the bottom line: The key to successful weight loss is a
commitment to making permanent changes in your diet and exercise habits.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 Tips for Social Networking Safety

Social networking Web sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to share information like photos, videos, and personal messages.

As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them. Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow the traffic.
Read these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.

1. Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social Web site. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in e-mail messages.

2. Don't trust that a message is really from who it says it's from. Hackers can break into accounts and send messages that look like they're from your friends, but aren't. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations to join new social networks.

3. To avoid giving away e-mail addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your e-mail address book. When you join a new social network, you might receive an offer to enter your e-mail address and password to find out who else is on the network. The site might use this information to send e-mail messages to everyone in your contact list or even everyone you've ever sent an e-mail message to with that e-mail address. Social networking sites should explain that they're going to do this, but some do not.

4. Type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site through e-mail or another Web site, you might be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen.

5. Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you. This is known as social engineering.

6. Choose your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use and make sure you understand the privacy policy. Find out if the site monitors content that people post. You will be providing personal information to this Web site, so use the same criteria that you would to select a site where you enter your credit card.

7. Assume what you write on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print the information or save it to a computer.

8. Be careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications in order to steal your personal information. To download and use third-party applications safely, take the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you download from the Web.

9. Think twice before you use social networking sites at work. Most work sites ban the use of personal pages and employers do search the web for things you may have posted.

10. Talk to your kids about social networking. Only allow your children to have friends online who really are friends in real life. You would not let your child talk to a stranger on the street, so why would you let them talk to a stranger online?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

H1N1 Flu Update

Cases of the H1N1 (Swine) flu are still showing up in Southern California and

We're following CDC guidelines for prevention, detection and treatment of the
H1N1 virus and at this time, CDC recommends the primary means to reduce spread
of influenza in work spaces, schools and child care programs is early
identification of ill students and staff, staying home when ill, and good
cough and hand hygiene etiquette.

If you believe you or your child are ill or please consult your medical care
professionals. More information is available at the Naval
Hospital Twentynine Palms H1N1 Flu hotline at 760.830.2153

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you
cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
. Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or
until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to
keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

Our priority is and will remain the health and safety of our Marines, Sailors,
civilian employees and their families.