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Buckley Clinic launches cyberspace initiatives

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Buckley Air Force Base Clinic is undergoing external and internal preparations to enhance the service it provides. These changes will direct the clinic's flight path to a more efficient operation with the launching of two initiatives directed by the Air Force Medical Service and several Buckley Clinic initiatives.

The first cyberspace initiative is TRICARE Online, an online appointing method that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This provides the ability for the active duty member and the active duty family member to make routine appointments online.

The second Cyberspace initiative allows active duty military members to complete their Physical Health Assessment form online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The testing of the system is nearly complete. The Buckley clinic is revamping its communication services members use. Many have received mixed messages on the phone system regarding times of service. Clinic officials apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused people. The clinic is very near the completion of revamping that system. This will ensure a short, informative and responsive phone system. A new contract, phone tree modification, staff education and new terminology will complete the communications portion of the launch.

The first initiative began on Sept. 11. When the patient calls for an appointment, the appointment clerk will refer to their appointment time as the "show time." The term "show time," is like attending a movie but in this reference it refers to the time the appointment process begins. The appointment process actually begins with check-in. When someone checks in, it sets off a chain of events within the clinic that lead to the climax, the individual seeing their provider, and then closes at the end of the day.

When given a "show time," the clinic asks that people check in at that time or earlier. In the event someone checks in 20 minutes beyond their "show time," they are considered a no-show. The impact of a no-show is loss of productivity that equates to medical funding loss or clinic reimbursement through the major command to Health Affairs, the loss of an appointment someone else could have used and decreased funds to procure medical staff to meet the needs of the clinic's growing population.

These cyberspace initiatives have afforded the clinic the opportunity to make appointments online, complete PHA forms online and provide people with up to date information regarding the medical treatment facility and its clinics via the internet 24 hours, 365 days a year.

The developed plan to improve the service the clinic provides people, increase efficiency and keeping people informed are vital to the care the clinic provides and the ability to meet mandated productivity goals and provide optimum care people deserve.

The clinic appointment line is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and the clinic's hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday excluding federal holidays, family days and training days.
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