In order to better provide care for patients this winter, the 86th Medical Group opened the new Cold and Allergy Clinic inside the Family Health Clinic recently on Ramstein.
This new clinic is open from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and is available for patients 12 to 65 years old.
During the winter and spring seasons, the 86th MDG sees an increased volume of patients suffering from cough, congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes and other symptoms associated with cold and allergy season. This increased demand on services decreases the availability of appointments and reduces other patients’ ability to access care in a timely manner. In order to better accommodate this, the 86th MDG has put together a multidisciplinary team of medical experts to assess and treat those suffering from the discomfort associated with colds and allergies.
Most patients with cold symptoms do not require a visit to the medical group as there is no cure for the common cold, and the vast majority of patients with cough and cold symptoms will get better on their own within three to five days. However, for some patients, the symptoms are severe enough to warrant a visit, and the Cold and Allergy Clinic will play a big role this season in providing that care.
“In most cases, this will enable the patient to be seen within 24 hours or less when calling for an appointment for cold or allergy symptoms,” said Maj. Dara Warren, 86th Family Health Clinic clinical nurse. “As an added benefit, it will make more appointments available for other patients.”
When a patient calls the Family Health Clinic to make an appointment, the clerk will ask a series of questions regarding their medical condition to determine if they are a good candidate for the Cold and Allergy Clinic.
“The new clinic is a really good idea,” said Lt. Col. Lyn Patyski, U.S. Air Forces in Europe Administrative Office of the Courts legal advisor and operations law attorney and visitor at the clinic. “You no longer have to wait for an appointment, and it makes the whole process much faster.”
The clinic is an extension of Family Health and is composed of a team of medical technicians, nurses and pharmacists. By pooling resources, the clinic hopes to free up one week’s worth of a medical provider’s appointments in just over 10 hours.
“This clinic is getting nurses back to what they do,” Warren said. “It’s getting them off the phones and able to see patients face to face. Instead of having to ask several questions over the phone, I can talk to my patients in person and sometimes even see answers to those questions just by looking at them.”
With the addition of this new clinic, the 86th MDG has increased its ability to serve the Ramstein community during peak cold and allergy seasons.
“This is the kind of innovation we are looking for in today’s Air Force,” said Col. Brent Johnson, 86th MDG commander. “We need Airmen to pool resources, maximize skills and build efficiencies into day-to-day operations in order to accomplish the multitude of mission demands we are facing.”
For more information or to book an appointment at the Cold and Allergy Clinic, call the Appointment Line at 479-2273 or 06371-46-2273.