New 23rd MDG concept: Family health initiative

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Ryan McCrae
  • 23rd Medical Group
What is the family health initiative? The FHI is the Air Force's way of creating a patient-centered medical home. It is a way to create an enjoyable and productive healthcare environment that promotes a team approach for meeting the patient's healthcare needs. The focus is to ensure that our patients are receiving better continuity and access to care from their Family Health Team when needed.

What is the FHI and why are we using it? With FHI, the key is continuity. Each Family Health Team consists of two providers and their support staff. When one provider is unavailable due to a deployment, leave or a TDY, then the second provider on the team will see the patients.

The goal is that patients will be cared for by the same technician, nurse, provider and family health team every time they visit the clinic. Better continuity means better medical management. All your medical needs will be met by your FHI team and the patient will not have to worry about seeing a different provider each time they visit the clinic.

We want our patients to feel like they are a part of their own healthcare team. Previously, patients would occasionally find themselves seeing three or more different providers for the same issue. This can be frustrating to both the patient, who has to explain the issue repeatedly, as well as to the provider, who is hearing it all for the first time. These frustrating scenarios were a challenge for patients and providers alike, as they both tried to determine what was happening and what treatment should be implemented. By seeing the same medical experts during every visit, every person on the team will have a better understanding of the needs of the patient and the best approach to treatment.

How can care be accessed? All patients will still call the appointment line at 229-257-2778 or visit to make all appointments. Active duty personnel will be seen at the 23rd Medical Group for all urgent care within 24 hours. Supervisors of active duty are reminded that they can grant 24-hour quarters to their personnel without a medical appointment in accordance with Air Force Instruction 41-210, "Patient Administrative Functions," paragraph 3.6.4.

For more information about Tricare benefits, visit our local Tricare Service Center at the 23rd Medical Group, or call Tricare directly at 1-800-444-5445.