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News > 6th Medical Group Improves Medical Appointments Process
6th Medical Group Improves Medical Appointments Process

Posted 9/2/2009   Updated 9/2/2009 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Damian Pardue
6th Medical Group

9/2/2009 - MACDILL AFB, FLA -- The 6th Medical Group Team continuously strives to improve processes and services for our medical beneficiaries. When we fall short of our customer's expectations, the two most common complaints we receive concern wait times when calling to make an appointment on our central appointment line and the lack of medical appointments available for our enrollees. We have been diligently working to implement several initiatives to significantly improve these processes and better meet the needs of our patients. 

The 6 MDG's ultimate goal is to comply with TRICARE access standards and provide outstanding service to our enrollees, meeting or exceeding expectations. We initiated an Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century project to examine new ways of addressing and improving these processes. Already appointments have increased 25 percent per day over the last 11 months, appointment line wait times have decreased more than 75 percent over the past nine months and more providers and support staff are being hired to increase capability and capacity to ensure enough appointments are available to meet patient needs. 

Additionally, a new policy was implemented to further reduce wait times on our central appointing line while also providing our customers increased availability to same-day appointments. Previously, same-day appointments were not available until after either 4 p.m. when using TRICARE Online or by calling the appointing team at 7 a.m. on the day of the appointment. Now beneficiaries can book next day acute care appointments beginning at noon the day before the appointment. As many as 50 acute appointments will be offered at the 6 MDG for enrollees and as many as 30 appointments at the satellite clinic in Brandon. Active Duty enrollees have priority to the acute appointments offered at the MacDill Clinic. All of our Brandon Clinic enrollees can obtain available acute appointments at the Brandon Clinic. If there are no acute appointments available at the main clinic at MacDill or the Brandon satellite clinic, you can access care at one of our TRICARE network Urgent Care Clinics (UCC) in the local area. You must contact your PCM the next business day to provide information regarding the UCC where you were seen, the date you were seen and your presenting symptoms. 

To make an appointment, please contact the 6 MDG appointment line at 828-CARE (2273), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. You can also make appointments from any computer using TRICARE Online at (on-line registration is required).

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