Mental Health upgrades capabilities
By Staff Sgt. Jim Araos, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 07, 2016
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Medical Group Mental Health section recently had facility renovations done to streamline their services.
The most apparent visible improvement for the Mental Health section is the movement of its entrance from the backside of the 30th MDG building to the interior of the main clinic.
"Although it may seem like a simple thing, the process is now one big loop instead of a horseshoe setup," said Robert Garcia, 30th Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health psychology aid and technician. "It makes us more accessible for patients and fellow technicians."
Other storage rooms were also renovated to accommodate more office space and personnel.
"We have 13 personnel and can now expand to 16 personnel," said Staff Sgt. Crystal Kennedy, 30th MDOS mental health technician. "We can certainly accommodate more people at this point."
Although there have been many environment changes, the electronic changes will have the most impact.
"Mental health sections around the Air Force are moving towards electronic capabilities which is the Behavioral Health Data Portal," said Kennedy. "We no longer have patients use paper screeners. They now do their screeners online on a computer or a kiosk in our new waiting room. The information is made more accessible and consolidated for the patients' provider."
The Behavioral Health Data Portal allows Mental Health providers the capability to tailor questionnaires to each patient for more accurate examinations.
"It's convenient that you can adjust the questions for each patient," said Garcia. "It'll give you a total number on a graph and the scores for each question. So you can see if they're spiking on anxiety or agitation."
With the implementation of more electronic capabilities, mental health records will all be going electronic as well.
"All of our records are going to the outpatient medical records," said Kennedy. "Since we're moving into the electronic age, no longer will patients have separate medical records. That will help with the continuity of care and create crosstalk between providers."
The Mental Health section will continue to streamline their services to provide the best care to Team Vandenberg.
"We're always focused on taking care of our patients," said Kennedy. "Ensuring patient safety and providing them everything they need to get them back to the mission is our primary goal."