Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

NMRTU Everett staff collaborate to ensure Patient Centered Care

Image of two military personnel wearing masks. The eyes have it...Lt. Courtney Rafferty (standing) and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Veronica Vargas of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit (NMRTU) Everett Optometry clinic, along with Mr. Cheryl Miller (not pictured) were commended for modifications made to reduce patient wait times and enhance patient centered care by the Military Health System (MHS) 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner (Official Navy photo).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Most people don’t enjoy sitting in a waiting-room waiting for their doctor’s appointment.

Due to response to the COVID-19 pandemic, patients seeking routine eye exams through Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit (NMRTU) Everett’s Optometry clinic were experiencing wait times upwards of 30 minutes prior to being called back to the examination room. 

However, through some creativity and ingenuity, the clinic has reduced patient wait time by 87% and increased access to care by 51.4% over the past six months.

The modifications implemented to increase access to care and shorten wait times resulted in NMRTU Everett being commended by the Military Health System 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner.

This recognition program annually recognizes initiative and commitment to the development of systems and processes to help MHS advance into a high reliability organization ensuring safe, reliable care for all patients and their families, promoting a culture that encourages learning, sharing, and continuous improvement. 

“I’m still in shock and humbled our project was selected for the award. I think it signifies that even at a smaller branch health clinic with fewer resources, including staff members and clinic space, there are always opportunities to take ownership and allow staff the creativity to challenge the culture of accepting things as ‘good enough,’” said Navy Lt. Courtney Rafferty, NMRTU Everett Optometry head and team lead for the clinic project entitled, ‘Increasing Access to Care and Minimizing Patient Wait Time to Enhance Healthcare Efficiency and Improve Patient Satisfaction.’

“Cheryl Morris, our Clinical Support Services receptionist, is incredibly helpful and always willing to try new things, keeping track of all the various requirements not only for Optometry but also Physical Therapy and Mental Health,” Rafferty said. “Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Veronica Vargas has been an incredibly dedicated member of the team. She is the only optician at the clinic and she has developed a level of expertise within Optometry over the past year tantamount to fourth year Optometry externs. Her curiosity and willingness to learn and make suggestions has been essential in our patient care efficiency and implementing new suggestions for continuous process improvements.”

Rafferty also cited Navy Hospitalman 2nd Class Abhiram Nair from the radiology department, who volunteered to assist in the Optometry clinic project.

“HM2 Nair and HM2 Vargas receive countless compliments from patients for their professionalism in customer service. We were also lucky to have Hospitalman Rachel Doyle from Medical Home Port who provided assistance and developed additional improvements like color-coding several hundred contact lens trials to prevent any defects. Lieutenant Commander Cameron Mathie also assisted in providing information for data collection and ideas for improving templating in increasing access to care,” added Rafferty.

Using the business improvement methodology of Lean Six Sigma to promote patient centeredness, Rafferty and her team not only improved overall patient-care, but also enhanced patient and staff satisfaction, while increasing efficiency and delivery of care.

Rafferty affirmed that understanding that patient wait times and access to care are two of the most significant components of overall patient satisfaction rates in health care. Striving to improve the patient’s experience is at the heart of patient centeredness in a high-reliability organization.

“While there is a general consensus that access to care is a valuable metric to track, many may not concede that patient wait times are as critical to monitor. Many studies found that patient wait time was the single biggest indicator for patient satisfaction outcomes in healthcare, regardless of how satisfied the patients are with the provider or care received. Additionally, reducing wait times for patients while increasing access to care requires a look at the efficiency of every single step involved in a patient’s flow through the clinic, so it challenges the staff to find opportunities at every step to improve efficiency,” Rafferty explained.

An unintended consequence of the improvement project was that it also supported the clinic’s response to the pandemic.

“Our project preceded the pandemic outbreak, but proved critical during COVID-19 in mitigating exposure by preventing patients from spending time in the waiting room shared with physical therapy and behavioral health,” Rafferty said. “The steps we took to improve the overall efficiency had the benefit of maintaining minimal patient exam flow times."

  “This project did not end when we submitted it,” Rafferty stated. “We continue to move forward and try new things. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with sailors who have demonstrated a willingness to suggest new ideas and take risks to find solutions where others may not even see a problem. I am incredibly proud that HM2 Vargas and the sailors have provided additional assistance. Regardless of rate or rank, continuous small changes over time can make a significant and meaningful difference.”

You also may be interested in...

Program Areas CBRN Protection

Fact Sheet
5/4/2005

The Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Directorate assists in protecting U.S. forces that are globally engaged and at potentially increased risk to being exposed to naturally occurring substances or encountering manufactured chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents that adversaries may seek to use against them.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Environmental Exposures | Environmental Exposures | Chemical and Biological Exposures

MSMR Vol. 11 No. 1 - January 2005

Report
1/1/2005

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Amputations of lower and upper extremities, U.S. Armed Forces, 1990-2004; Malaria, U.S. Army, 2004; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-December 2004; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 11 No. 2 – April 2005

Report
1/1/2005

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004; Ambulatory visits among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004; Estimates of absolute and relative health care burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004; Reportable medical events, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004; Pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003 - December 2004.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 11 No. 5 – December 2005

Report
1/1/2005

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Pneumonia and influenza among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2001-October 2005; Cold injuries, active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2000-June 2005; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-October 2005; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 11 No. 3 – May/June 2005

Report
1/1/2005

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Mortality among members of active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004; Vaccine preventable diseases, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2004; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-December 2004; Case report: Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), wife of a U.S. Service member, 2004; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 11 No. 4 – July/August 2005

Report
1/1/2005

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) antibody screening among active and Reserve component soldiers and civilian applicants for military service, January 1990-June 2005; Case reports: Malaria in U.S. soldiers after returning from Honduras and Korea, November 2004 and July 2005; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-August 2005; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 10 No. 2– April 2004

Report
1/1/2004

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003; Ambulatory visits among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003; Estimates of absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003; Update: Pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-March 2004; Sentinel reportable events, calendar year 2003; Sentinel reportable events, April 2004.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 10 No. 1– January/February 2004

Report
1/1/2004

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Leishmaniasis, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003; Malaria among active duty soldiers, U.S. Army, 2003; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-December 2003; ARD surveillance update; Sentinel reportable events; Reportable events, calendar year 2003.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 10 No. 5 – September/October 2004

Report
1/1/2004

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cold injuries, active duty, U.S. Armed Forces, July 1999-June 2004; ARD surveillance update; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-October 2004; Sentinel reportable events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 10 No. 4 – July/August 2004

Report
1/1/2004

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), antibody screening among active and reserve component soldiers and civilian applicants for military service, 1985-June 2004; Completeness and timeliness of reporting hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Army medical treatment facilities, 1995-2003; Completeness and timeliness of reporting hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Naval medical treatment facilities, 1998-2003; Completeness and timeliness of reporting hospitalized notifiable conditions, active duty service members, U.S. Air Force medical treatment facilities, 1998-2003; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-July 2004; Sentinel reportable events; Brucellosis in a soldier who recently returned from Iraq; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 10 No. 3 – May/June 2004

Report
1/1/2004

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Fractures among members of active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2003; Frequencies and characteristics of medical evacuations of soldiers by air (with emphasis on non-battle injuries), Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), January-November 2003; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-April 2004; ARD surveillance update; Sentinel reportable events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 10 No. 6 – November/December 2004

Report
1/1/2004

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Leishmaniasis among U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-November 2004; Hospitalizations for Acute Respiratory Failure (ARF) /Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) among participants in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-November 2004; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-November 2004; ARD surveillance update; Sentinel reportable events; Assignment locations, active component, U.S. Army, June 2004.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

DoD Directive 6490.5 on Combat Stress Control Programs

Policy

Policy for Individual Medical Readiness Metrics

Policy

MSMR Vol. 9 No. 7 – November/December 2003

Report
1/1/2003

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Tears of cruciate ligaments of the knee, U.S. Armed Forces, 1990-2002; Cold weather injuries, active duty, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2003; Update: pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, September 2002-September 2003; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health
<< < ... 56 57 58 59 60  ... > >> 
Showing results 856 - 870 Page 58 of 64
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 20, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.