Decentralization makes medical-dental records easier to get

DENVER, Colo. -- The Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver is moving the medical and dental records of some Reservists to the active-duty base where they serve as part of an effort to streamline operations.

Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hancock watches as David Fisher packs up individual mobilization augmentee and some participating individual ready reserve medical and dental records headed for Osan Air Base, Korea. The two are members of the Air Reserve Personnel Center Health Services Directorate. (Tech. Sgt. Rob Mims)
The process, initiated two years ago, will help reduce duplicate copies of the records. This will decrease work and increase efficiency, officials said.

“This is a win-win situation,” said Staff Sgt. Mike Melanson of the center’s Health Services Directorate. “The members have medical records at the military treatment facility to which they are assigned, and (personnel officials) will have a complete medical history.”

The change will help individual mobilization augmentees, whose records have historically been maintained at the personnel center.

With no medical or dental information available at base health-care facilities, just getting an annual Reserve Component Periodic Health Assessment was difficult, the sergeant said.

So officials devised a plan to solve the problem, which they intend to complete by December.

Osan Air Base, South Korea; Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.; and Peterson AFB, Colo., were the first locations to receive Reservist records. Remaining bases will start getting records in March.

“Keeping medical records where the person is just makes sense,” said Tech. Sgt. Lennie Williams, who also works in the directorate. “It is another step in the direction of the total force concept.”

The decentralization supports the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs’ requirement that outpatient medical records be available at the location were services are rendered.

“The decentralization will free up valuable manpower, which can then be shifted to concentrate on other day-to-day processes,” said the center’s David Fisher.

More information about this initiative is available on the ARPC Web site at http://arpc.afrc.af.mil.

(Sergeant Mims is assigned to the ARPC public affairs office in Denver.)

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