KMC integrates healthcare

Spc. Todd Goodman
LRMC Public Affairs

***image1***Now it’s official. Papers were signed June 9 to confirm the eventual
transfer of primary care from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to
Ramstein Health Clinic.

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Commander Col. W. Bryan Gamble met
with 435th Medical Group Com-mander Col. Carol Vermillion at the 435th
Medical Group Headquarters to put ink to paper. Scheduled for next
summer, the transfer will eliminate redundancies, improve efficiency
and streamline health care.

The concept, which began several years ago, is designed to help
integrate healthcare in the KMC. Sending LRMC patients who do not
require specialized care to Ramstein will free up LRMC to devote even
more resources to just that – specialty care.

“We are putting the primary care specialists in one spot where the bulk
of the population is,” said Colonel Vermillion. “It’s going to impact
patients in a positive way by improving care.”

Aside from the bulk of the population being there, the decision to move
the two clinics to Ramstein was because of the primary care model the
Air Force had developed. Called a primary care element, it utilizes a
team of one doctor, one nurse, two medical technicians and an
administrative assistant. Each team cares for a set number of patients,
ensuring that the patients will see the same provider each time. It
builds relationships between the doctor and patient and fosters better
care, said Colonel Vermillion.

“I think this will be a trend in the future of military medicine,” said
Col. Todd Hess, deputy commander for clinical services at LRMC. “It
makes a lot more sense and gets rid of redundancies. I think it will be
much simpler.”
One such redundancy are the two pharmacies, LRMC and Ramstein, which stock all family practice medicines.

“You can save a lot of money if you have one pharmacy and order twice as much,” said Colonel Hess.

“That is what streamlining health care is about, eliminating two points
of entry,” said Cpt. Kevin Ridderhoff, chief of LRMC’s Clinical
Operations Division.
 As of now, Ramstein provides family practice care to 12,000
patients and 3,500 pediatrics patients. An additional 6,000 family
practice and 3,300 pediatrics patients will come over from LRMC. In
turn, Ramstein will transfer the Women’s Health Care Initiative to
LRMC. Also, LRMC will receive the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine clinic
from Kapaun Air Station.

The integration will require an additional wing to be built onto the
existing Ramstein Family Practice Clinic, Bldg. 2114. The additional
wing will cost $800,000.

LRMC will send 32 doctors, nurses and medical technicians; and 11 Air
Force personnel currently working at LRMC will go back to Ramstein.
Aside from lateral movement of personnel, there will be no staff
“This joint concept is spreading,” said Colonel Vermillion. “We are
leading the way and are the first organizations to make it this far.
Everyone is looking to us, so we want to make it as effective as