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Medical center set to transition to Defense Health Agency

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The military treatment facility transition to DHA, according to Bono, should be seamless to the patients, but provide a more consistent and transparent process for accessing care across all the military services. (U.S. Army File photo) Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The military treatment facility transition to DHA, according to Bono, should be seamless to the patients, but provide a more consistent and transparent process for accessing care across all the military services. (U.S. Army File photo)

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Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is on the cusp of an unprecedented change as the medical center’s administration and management function transitions to the Defense Health Agency Oct. 1. 

Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, DHA director, visited the medical center recently to discuss the transition and its impact on the Fort Hood community.

During the short, but jam-packed visit, Bono conducted a series of meetings with everyone from senior leaders to staff members to discuss the change and provide a vision for the future.

In a town hall for CRDAMC staff, the DHA director highlighted how this transition presents opportunities for greater collaboration and standardization of process among all service medical departments.

“What we’ve learned over the years is the best outcome is when we work together,” Bono said.

The military treatment facility transition to DHA, according to Bono, should be seamless to the patients, but provide a more consistent and transparent process for accessing care across all the military services.

The DHA director also detailed how the transition of all Army, Air Force and Navy facilities will provide a consistent experience across the military medical enterprise for active duty service members, Family members, and retirees. Consistent and predictable patterns may help reduce stress and anxiety for patients as they move from one duty station to another.

“Sometimes patients learn a process for scheduling appointments and interacting with a facility that changes when they experience a permanent change of station,” Bono said. “Bringing all MTFs under the administration of the DHA allows us to create an integrated system for all our patients so that no matter where you are stationed – the way you access care or make appointments would be the same whether you are at Darnall, Brooke, or another naval facility.”

Standardization isn’t the only anticipated benefit of the impending change. Maintaining a robust focus on readiness is a priority.

“For Darnall, we want to help make sure that we’re continuing to provide support to the operational mission here at III Corps ensuring that they are medically ready for any mission,” said Bono.

The transition seeks to ensure that medical facilities continue to deliver safe, quality care while continuously exploring opportunities to elevate healthcare services. The transition is a response to the National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years 2017, 2018 and 2019, but according to Bono, changes to military healthcare have been in the works for some time.

Bono said it is an excellent opportunity to increase collaboration across each of the service medical departments. “What we realize, especially in the healthcare field, is we need to synergize across the entire enterprise to create the efficiencies and effectiveness that a standardized experience will create for our patients.”

One likely change that will benefit patients is DHA and VA facilities will be using the same type of electronic health, which, according to Bono, will improve longitudinal care.

Providers will have complete medical records from the Department of Defense to VA, which, in turn, will allow them to provide better care. Creating greater efficiencies isn’t just about health care services, but includes building solid relationships with community partners that benefit patients, she said.

As DHA assumes its role of maintaining administrative and management functions, according to the DHA, the transition will be seamless to the beneficiary.

Active duty, Family members, retirees and veterans who receive care at CRDAMC will continue to receive the same safe, high-quality care they’ve always experienced.

“Throughout this transformation process, we will remain committed to the highest quality of care for all our beneficiaries,” Army Col. David Gibson, CRDAMC commander, said. “We will continue to ensure medical readiness, support wartime requirements and enhance the quality of care for Soldiers and their families.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

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