Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hospital Provides Premium Care and Communications

By Dan Barber
Public Affairs Officer
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

Patients of the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital have now been cared for in its clinics using the Medical Home Team model for more than a year now.

The patient-centered method of delivering health care has been instituted in most military medical care treatment facilities and many civilian medical practices over the past couple of years.

This hospital’s model, which was begun last year, assigned primary care staff to Blue Team, Gold Team and Pediatrics, and enrolled TRICARE Prime patients to each team. This allows patients to see the same team each time they come in for an appointment. This replaced the prior concept of having patients assigned to a single Primary Care Manager.  Patients at the Naval Hospital now have an entire team of health care professionals made up of physicians, physician assistants, Certified Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses and Corpsman who are dedicated to providing their assigned patients with the best possible health care management.

Specialty care by one of the hospital’s network health care providers has and will remain unchanged in the near future, but, work is underway at the hospital to try to bring more specialty services ‘in-house’ with additional staff, training or “circuit rider” specialists from San Diego or Camp Pendleton seeing patients here instead of making patients travel some distance for care.

Also, the hospital disestablished “Central Appointments” last year to allow the staff of the Medical Home Teams to speak directly to patients calling in to request appointments. In many cases with this change, patients have been able to book a same day appointment, or to speak with a team member to receive an answer to a simple health care question. The phone number has remained unchanged, patients can still call 760-830-2752 and they will be directed to their assigned team.

Another patient pleaser the hospital has just initiated is posting the available open appointments each work day on the hospital’s Facebook page. Normally this posting will be listed by 7:15 a.m., to allow the patients to see what is available. “If the caller misses the opportunity to book one of these appointments, they still will be able to talk to a team member who will do their best to help them ,” said Commander Lisa Morris, Director of Medical Services of the hospital. “We want our patients to be satisfied with their care, but we also want to deliver that care safely. With that in mind we will always strive to say ‘yes’ to our patients when we can,” she added.  To check out the hospital’s Facebook page visit:
In addition, the hospital signed up for a secure computer based communications tool last year called Relay Health where patients can access their medical team from home…to email their provider,  request an appointment, cancel an appointment , request a prescription renewal or find out the results of lab tests. To sign up visit: https://app.relayhealth.com/Registration.aspx and follow registration directions.

 “We have found that  the Medical Home Team method of patient-centered care provides our customers with more access to primary care and it allows longer appointments so our providers are able to meet most if not all of our patients health care needs during one visit,” said Morris.

The purpose of the Robert E. Bush Naval hospital is to care for the Marines, Sailors, and families of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and to keep its promise of care to the military retirees and families in the surrounding communities of the Morongo Basin. “The reason we are here is to care for our patients,”  said Morris.