Is it possible to offer an after-hour care center for the KMC? I am aware of the self-help book and the nurse care-line, but both often suggest seeing a medical facility within 24 hours, which isn’t always possible on the weekends and holidays. The emergency room should stay an emergency room, so it seems that there should be other options for those people who need care after hours or on weekends.
Thank you for your suggestion concerning an after-hours urgent medical care center in the KMC.
You are correct that, on occasion, our beneficiaries need to be seen by a medical provider after the clinic’s normal duty hours. Please be assured that in these situations, using the emergency room is acceptable. The 435th MDG does recommend patients use the resources you mentioned, which include the “Taking Care of Yourself and Your Child” books and the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line. These are excellent resources to help patients determine the urgency of their problem and whether it warrants a visit with a provider or home care.
We want you to have confidence though that if you have a medical condition that warrants urgent or emergency care when the 435th MDG is not open, the emergency department at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is the correct location to obtain that care. The emergency department will examine your condition and determine a priority based on the urgency of your condition.
There are several factors involved in providing after-hours care. The 435th MDG Clinic hours are scheduled to provide the maximum number of appointments for the greatest number of beneficiaries, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Occasionally, our patients do need to be seen on an urgent basis when the clinic is closed. Based on data from the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line and emergency room visits, the 435th MDG has three to eight patients needing urgent care throughout the day. Only a fraction of these would benefit from an after-hours appointment.
The current process ensures we are using our resources wisely. It costs upward of $400 per hour for a single provider to see patients in our facility, and it would take 10 to 12 staff members to run an after-hours clinic with support services.
Furthermore, some specialty areas aren’t staffed adequately to cover a day and evening shift. On top of that, the time a provider is available to see patients afterhours would impact our regular clinic access when we offer up to 24 appointments per day per provider.
We appreciate your input as our medical resources in the KMC are a great benefit to our servicemembers and their families.
The Commander’s Action Line gives KMC members a direct link to wing leadership and is a way for KMC members to ask a question or express a concern on the policies and procedures of the base, as well as discuss safety and security issues. To submit an action line, e-mail email@example.com with “Action Line” as the subject.