CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2015 - (Page 25)

Civilian and Military Health Care Collaboration Corporate Collaboration Generating Synergy for Positive Patient Care Experiences BY MELANiE A. PRiNCE, RN, MSN, CNE, RN-BC, CCM, COLONEL, uSAF, NC W ebster's Dictionary defines synergy as "the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together." Effectiveness is a desirable outcome for most organizations, but when collaboration is added, synergy among organizations drives even greater results in effectiveness, efficiency, capacity, and patient satisfaction. Collaboration at the corporate level is an investment in intellectual cooperation, where vested interests in complementary strategies fuel success for everyone, especially the patient. Air Force medical facilities are often located in areas where reliance on civilian medical organizations is necessary for specialty and specialized diagnostic care. however, with few exceptions, executive and senior-level staff from either military or civilian organizations do not routinely interact face-to-face. In fact, most clinical staff recognize "names on paper" but do not necessarily recognize their peers in person. Even fewer organizational leaders from either community have first-hand knowledge about their counterparts. At vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB), Calif., the medical facility views the civilian health care community as an extension of its military medical mission. To that end, generating synergy within the two communities is important to not only develop the capacity for critical specialty care, but to also develop strategies that ensure positive experiences for patients as they traverse back and forth between the two health care systems. The Air Force Medical System (AFMS) has a comprehensive corporate strategy that spans several organizational levels, from higher headquarters, Major Command (regional), and local military treatment facilities (MTFs). For MTFs that are outpatient or ambulatory care clinics, the Air Force Surgeon General's strategic intent is to "provide customized prevention, access and care for patients; and when unable to prevent injury, provide rapid access to the right team for care and recovery to full performance" (Travis, 2015). To realize this vision, vandenberg AFB developed strategies to maximize and extend its ability to deliver health care at the military clinic and surrounding civilian medical community. Three strategic initiatives are: 1. Engage network provider outreach. 2. Ensure patient-centered positive care experiences. 3. Streamline lifecycle of a referral [from military clinic to civilian specialty clinics]. These initiatives have catalyzed corporate collaboration employing deliberate and systematic processes that have quickly generated positive outcomes for military and civilian organizations. Collaboration began with the MTF-hosted open house event on the military installation. The purpose of the open house was to showcase the specific military defense mission our patients and families support and also to engage with military providers and staff. During the open house, civilian providers observed "live" poster presentations of various outpatient MTF services. The MTF staff led interactive tours throughout the facility and highlighted interorganizational "challenge areas" such as information management/ technology systems that generally do not share medical data. These tours and poster presentations afforded surprisingly new insight for the civilian providers into MTF medical capabilities that were previously unknown. For example, civilian orthopedic surgeons would normally refer postoperative patients to civilian physical therapy clinics. After observing the comprehensive and modernized physical therapy department, these surgeons will now refer military patients back to the MTF. This single effort has already increased efficiency in both organizations with quicker and easier patient access, while also creating a positive patient experience due to the convenience and flexibility afforded by the MTF physical therapy services. The open house also provided a venue for an enlightening and informative dual panel discussion, followed by social networking over hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and beverages. Attended by over 200 civilian providers, military medical staff, and Air Force base leadership, the open house was a kick-starter to additional collaborative venues and events. Subsequent collaborative events alternated between military clinic and civilian settings. For example, executive staff luncheons hosted by civilian organizations facilitated leadership discussions on strategies, process challenges, and future endeavors. These luncheons also afforded a venue for educating executives on the Issue 4 * 2015 CMSA TODAY 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2015

Integrating Behavioral Health Services into Mainstream Medicine
Cleveland Clinic Integrated Care Model
The Importance of Collaboration
Adult and Pediatric Integrated Case Management
Corporate Collaboration

CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2015