By Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sean Evans and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Todd Hack, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) proactively tracks more than 3,000 active duty members to ensure Individual Medical Readiness (IMR).
NMCSD Military Health Center has maintained greater than 75 percent fully medically ready overall readiness during the past 24 months by assertively administering IMR screenings.
“The command was recognized in terms of Performance-Based Budgeting dollars (PBB) for our continued success in meeting IMR targets below five percent indeterminate,” said NMCSD Deputy Commander Capt. Joel Roos. “We have reached this target for 12 consecutive months!”
PBB is transforming Navy Medicine from historically based fiscal planning and execution into a process which links resources to performance goals and the delivery of quality, cost effective health care. PBB provides financial incentive for achieving uniform level of excellence with respect to quality measures and re-allocates resources to those commands who are excelling in the provision of healthcare.
In fiscal year 2010, due to NMCSD’s excellence in surpassing the projected performance goals of quality and cost effective health care, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery rewarded NMCSD with more than $240, 000 of PBB dollars, noted Debra Shore, NMCSD’s Comptroller.
The IMR screening process provides operational commanders, military department leaders and Primary Care Managers (PCM) the ability to monitor the medical readiness status of their personnel, ensuring a healthy and fit command that is medically ready to deploy.
"For all service members, nothing should be more important than their own health," said Military Health Center Leading Petty Officer Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ehren Lietz.
Service members can take an active role to update their IMR status by using their birth month as an annual reminder. At NMCSD an e-mail is distributed monthly to all directors, department heads and senior enlisted leaders (SEL) to help facilitate efforts to complete IMR. Ensuring IMR is current provides crucial information regarding medical readiness for special duty assignments, overseas billets and deployments.
"Individual Medical Readiness is the responsibility of every service member," said Military Health Center Department Head retired Navy Capt. Dr. Steven Sovich. "This is especially critical in times of increased deployments."
IMR consists of six elements: individual medical equipment, immunizations, readiness laboratory studies, dental readiness, deployment limiting conditions and a periodic health assessment (PHA). On average, updating IMR takes about three days due to care sites in several locations.
The PHA is used to review, verify and correct IMR deficiencies and is also included as part of pre- and post-deployment health assessments as well as post-deployment health reassessments.
"Real functional readiness is being in an excellent state of physical, mental and dental health," said Sovich. "Just passing the PRT [Physical Readiness Test] is not a true measure of readiness or wellness."
Having a well-established point of contact between the Military Health Center and medical readiness representative from each directorate/department is essential to IMR success.
"Keeping this line of communication accessible is vital to informing service members of the need to update their medical readiness status," said Lietz.
In addition, to IMR successes, NMCSD was $1.5 million for Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). HEDIS is a set of standardized performance measures used as a tool for both patients to compare healthcare plans and also for medical institutions to promote continuous improvement on safe and quality health care.
For more information regarding your medical or dental health, please contact the Military Health Center at (619) 532-6666.