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Family medical services RESET with new program

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The 30th Medical Group is changing the way their clinic operates by initiating a new program called RESET.

The RESET program, which stands for “Reward Efficiency - Set Priorities - Empower Teams” originated at Ramstein Air Base in Germany as a way to change how patients interact with their Primary Care Manager team. Since its introduction, the program has yielded positive results in improving access and efficiency of medical care, leading to its implementation at Vandenberg.

The RESET program emphasizes two key points. The first is the increased use of same-day virtual appointments to provide more schedule flexibility. This transition helps to get rid of unnecessary face-to-face appointments, with less time spent on patient check-ins, filling forms and taking vitals.

“The average medical appointment takes about 40 to 45 minutes for a 20 minute time slot,” said 1st Lt. Sean Bundles, 30th MDG group practice manager. “Virtual appointments can take as little as 10 minutes so there is a huge reduction in resource utilization, but the use of these appointments is predicated on patients being available and answering their phones when contacted.”

The second point is an emphasis on patient and provider continuity. Under the RESET program patients are booked exclusively with their assigned PCM, instead of being booked with the provider who has the next available opening.

“We understand that patients value continuity,” said Bundles. “We want to get patients in with their PCM as quickly as possible, with a PCM who is familiar with the issues they are having. If a PCM is gone for an extended amount of time on leave or temporary duty, we ensure that the patient is seen by the same provider while their PCM is gone, which is usually someone on their team.”

After a one month trial period in March, results were favorable. The 30th Medical Group had seen a 33% increase in access to care, and a PCM continuity rate of 83% for the month – both major increases from the previous averages. The innovation behind RESET also led to an Air Force wide “best practice” at Vandenberg, as their Medical Management Team and Primary Care Teams also incorporated elements of RESET into helping airmen meet their readiness requirements.

“Other locations attempting to implement RESET struggled for up to a month before realizing a dividend,” said Col. Robert York, 30th MDG commander. “Vandenberg saw benefits almost immediately, with available future appointments and increased patient-provider continuity seen in the first week.  Patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and staff job satisfaction has skyrocketed. I am optimistic of the long-term viability and continued success of Vandenberg’s RESET.”

With their trial period complete the 30th MDG looks to continue their newly established RESET. Patients can expect to see more flexibility through virtual encounters and care by the PCM they are familiar with – which will result in safer, higher quality and timely care.