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Big changes at the 102nd Medical Group

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- A few months ago, the 102nd Medical Group began implementing some new forms and processes. As we progress, our hopes are to simplify the PHA process, reduce or eliminate the time spent at the medical group on a drill weekend, and to better take care of our Airmen.
 
Web-based Health Assessment (Web-HA) 

Have you come over to the clinic on your birth month and sat in the waiting room for a few hours waiting to see a provider, only to be told to come back the next drill with information from your civilian doctor? Or waited an hour to be seen for one minute? We understand your frustration. Time is valuable on a drill. With the new Web-Based Health Assessment (Web-HA) process, patients and the medical group staff will be better prepared for your appointment. 

What is the new Web-HA? Basically, it is an online medical questionnaire that will be accessed through the Air Force Portal and will take the place of the paper SF 507 that is filled out in the clinic. Members are required to complete this form at least two weeks prior to their birth month. At this time, the form can only be accessed with a Common Access Card (CAC). We understand the limitations this puts on our traditional Guardsmen so you will be notified two drills prior to your birth month to complete while on base. 

Why are we going virtual? Studies show that people are more honest with answers when they do not feel pressure to complete the questionnaire with others in the room or under a time constraint. This will also allow the medical group staff to notify patients who are required to bring in information from their civilian doctor before the drill, thus reducing the amount of trips a member needs to make to the clinic. At this time all AGR and technicians are required to fill out the Web-HA prior to their birth month; traditional Guardsmen will be phased in over the next four months. By Jan. 1, 2010, all members will be required to complete the Web-HA. Contact your Unit Health Monitor or Tech. Sgt. Cynthia Thomas at 508-968-4554 for more information. 

AF Form 469 vs. AF Form 422 

The AF Form 469 has replaced the AF Form 422 when a member has a duty or mobility restriction. In the past, if a member had a condition that precluded them from safely performing their mission or a disqualifying diagnosis they would be placed on a "4T" and not allowed to attend drill or be placed on orders. Now we are using the AF Form 469, which allows unit commanders some flexibility when one of their members has a medical condition that in the past would keep them from performing drill, annual training, or being placed on orders. There are three types of AF 469s: duty restrictions only, mobility restrictions only, or both duty and mobility restrictions. For injuries and illness that are expected to be resolved within 30 days, a member will be placed on a duty restriction with limitations. Members are allowed to drill and be placed on orders at their commander's discretion. Members who have an illness or injury that is expected to last 31-365 days, or a disqualifying condition that requires a worldwide duty evaluation, will be placed on a mobility restriction AF 469 with limitations if necessary. These members may attend drill but are not allowed to be placed on Title 32 or Title 10 orders. For more information on the AF Form 469 process, contact Tech. Sgt. Cynthia Thomas at 508-968-4554. 

Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application 

Beginning in early 2010, all medical and dental records will be going electronic. AHLTA is a DoD-wide system (including the VA) that will allow any Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) access to medical records of treatment at other MTFs. This is especially beneficial to those members who received care while deployed or TDY and those separating or retiring that are going to be receiving care at the VA. More information will be released as we begin the implementation by January or February 2010.