Imagine a world where patients don’t have to worry about knowing when to schedule a doctor visit based on their age, gender or familial risk factors. Womack Army Medical Center’s outpatient clinics are facilitating just that.
There are more than 80 preventative health measures and health care teams nationwide that monitor preventable diseases. These measures are termed Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information System.
When patients visit WAMC or their clinic, HEDIS gives their provider the ability to quickly see what risk factors the patient may have and open the conversation for preventive measures or additional screenings.
HEDIS measures are incentivized by the U.S. Army Medical Command based on the percentage of patients who complete preventative health screenings.
HEDIS is measured by colors: Green is good (meeting the measure); yellow, needs improvement; and red, does not meet the measure. MEDCOM initiates reimbursement when clinics score green or yellow. If the clinic scores in the red, 74 percent or lower, no additional funding resources are provided through the HEDIS incentive and those funds are lost.
“HEDIS allows us to track very specific diseases through various age groups. HEDIS is a powerful tool in tracking preventable diseases,” said Col. Diane Scherr, Robinson Health Clinic officer in charge.
“This is all about doing what we can now to help patients from getting sick in the future. We truly care about our beneficiaries,” said Scherr. “The goal of all clinics is to be green in all areas, but that cannot be done without the patient’s collaboration.”
Patients who show up to appointments, speak to clinic staff when called about HEDIS measures, and cancel appointments when they are unable to make it, empowers WAMC leadership to improve patients’ access to health care through more providers, nurses, new buildings, cutting-edge technology and equipment to provide the best health care possible.
“Overall, our beneficiaries have been extremely appreciative of our efforts to bring them into the clinic for preventative care. The HEDIS measures we are currently focused on are well-baby visits, colorectal cancer screening, breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, chlamydia screening, asthma and diabetic screening. All of these screenings can result in prevention of detrimental illnesses that could be caught earlier or avoided altogether,” said Scherr.
Patients are encouraged to use Relay Health (also called Army Medicine Secure Messaging) to communicate with their health care team.
“Relay Health is a secure email messaging that creates the ability for patients to communicate via email directly with their provider and health care team through their cell phone or home computers,” said Scherr. “This tool has a 24-hour response time from providers and can also be used to communicate patients’ HEDIS needs, follow-up appointments, or any other non-urgent health concerns.
“Secure messaging has been a huge challenge for our organization, because we have the technology and the information, but have a poor percentage of beneficiaries taking advantage of this awesome tool,” said Scherr.
TRICARE Online is also available to beneficiaries to reorder medications, review labs and radiological results and make appointments.
“These tools are the way of the future and the way we see outpatient clinics doing business to communicate with patients to improve their care and access to us, their healthcare providers,” said Scherr.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 907-2778, to cancel an appointment, call 907-2625 or visit www.wamc.amedd.army.mil.