HomeNewsArticle Display

Incirlik AB Medics improve outdated process

Members of the 39th Medical Support Squadron’s Tricare operations and patient administrations flight pose for a group photo Oct. 7, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The TOPA flight created a new patient travel request form process which contributed to saving the wing approximately $34,000 and 1,300 man-hours annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua Joseph Magbanua)

Members of the 39th Medical Support Squadron’s Tricare operations and patient administrations flight pose for a group photo at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 7, 2019. The TOPA flight created a new patient travel request form process which contributed to saving the wing approximately $34,000 and 1,300 man-hours annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua Joseph Magbanua)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNS) --

When faced with the challenge of providing timely and quality care for the Air Force’s most valuable weapons system: the human body, members of the 39th Medical Support Squadron capitalized by putting the power of innovation into the hands of their Airmen who do the job every day.


The 39th MDSS medics created a new patient travel-request form process and contributed to saving the wing approximately $34,000 and 1,300 man-hours annually. This process improved overall patient satisfaction and was recognized as the 39th Air Base Wing’s key innovation for the third quarter.


“Speeding this process up gets patients the care they need when they need it,” said 1st Lt. Benjamin Jennings, 39th Medical Group group practice manager and Tricare operations and patient administrations flight commander. “It’s a great win for us because … we are always refining our process and always improving. For my team to come back and get recognized for it shows them that the process works. People notice that we’re making changes. If they say something’s broken they are my subject matter experts that I need to help fix it.”


Their ability to work as a team created the idea to streamline the patient travel-request form routing process directly to the wing commander and bypass lower levels of leadership. The form authorizes Airmen off-base to obtain medical care beyond the scope of the on-base facility.


With the new process, local leadership are still informed of the request but streamlining the process reduced both administrative work at all levels and extended waiting times. This small change ensured Airmen were able to access quality care in a timely manner.


“The data for this project speaks for itself,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew McQuary, 39th ABW Continuous Process Improvement practitioner. “Off-base patient referral processing now takes a week or less to get approved by the wing commander, versus the wildly-variable process that was in place before where referrals could take anywhere from two to three weeks.


“Less processing times mean quicker access to specialized care for patients who need it, with less waiting time and less administrative headaches for the patients. The cost and time savings will mean their time and money can be better spent providing increased attention, assistance and care to their patients.”


Process improvements usually do not happen by chance and in this case, the Tricare operations and patient administration section holds a daily meeting for Airmen to discuss problem areas within the system and potential innovations to alleviate those issues at the lowest level.


“Putting the power of innovation into the hands of Airmen accomplishing the work of the Air Force not only increases the overall quantity and quality of ideas the Air Force has to work with, ”McQuary said. “It also instills process ownership into the Airmen who participate. For me, I feel more pride working with processes in which I’ve contributed to creating or improving.”


While this process addresses a situation unique to Incirlik AB, the benefits of empowering one’s Airmen cannot be ignored.


“The process being used at the 39th MDSS is a perfect example of process improvement and innovation in action,”McQuary said. “The team identified and illustrated an issue, discovered root causes, then implemented countermeasures targeted at these root causes. This sort of methodical but common-sense approach to small-scale improvement is exactly what the Air Force CPI program is dedicated to implementing.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #Airmen load up a C-130J Super Hercules before heading to #Bulgaria for Thracian Fall 2020. The @usairforce trains with B…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen and Soldiers from the @CTNationalGuard delivered 21,000 cases of water from @fema to towns throughout the state in…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: “I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Official #ReadyAF
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA TOMORROW at 9:30AM ED… https://t.co/ok6km7nFoS
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates, Let me start with 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖. https://t.co/xU6U3QuZV7
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Engaging through listening sessions, senior leaders are hearing directly from #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals on diversi…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: JUST IN: Three #B2 Spirits from @Whiteman_AFB deployed to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia in support of #BTF missions. @IND
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The #Airmen at @Creech_AFB make a global impact 24/7. The RPAs they operate provide vital intelligence and strike capabi…
Twitter
"I'm confident that our Air Force can continue to be the most dominant and respected Air Force in the world." -… https://t.co/PZQzLUGBxz
Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,266,882
Follow Us