Survival of the Health Care System: Cellular Perspective Principles applied to 21st Century Marketing and Outreach Technologies

Shrinking healthcare dollar coupled with increasing demand for information technology in patient centered medical home (PCMH) poses a major challenge of the 21st century Air Force health care delivery system. Early in 2011, the 18th Medical Group recognized this need and moved away from our 20th century traditional patient education marketing and outreach endeavors. Our marketing and outreach evaluated patients, medical staff, and wing helping agencies as a guide for shared common goals between the three. Our clinic went even further declaring the need for a 24 hr/7 day a week intrafacility, interfacility, and extrafacility marketing and outreach program. This was accomplished through an application of 8-Step performance generated countermeasures. These countermeasures focused on 1) patient waiting time, 2) multimedia cost effectiveness, 3) interactive electronic media 4) social networking 5) visual based applications 6) appointing individually trained department public affairs representatives, and 7) greater MDG Wing involvement. Prior to this venture, the 18th Medical Group was limited to paper tri-folds, a stagnant website with limited health care customer information, fragmented MDG wing involvement/input, and did not including medical staff as customers in the PCMH patient care delivery process. The multidisciplinary team for this 8-Step Performance Improvement event included Health Care Integrator (HCI), Chief Nurse, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Tricare Operations and Patient Administration (TOPA) representatives, and Wing Public Affairs Officer.


We executed an 8-step PI Project resulting in a 18th MDG Marketing and Public Affairs Operating Instruction (MDGI 35-1). Concurrently, Wing Public affairs staff trained our designated Group and department unit public affairs representatives. The 18th MDG Group public affairs representatives collected departmental medical staff input (treating them as customer): Asking them “What would you like your customer to know to make both yours and their experience a pleasant one?”). Using the new Air Force Medical Service website/social media guide, we created our website and social media outlets. We then stood up an Intrafacility Customer Marquee System using four free standing (off network) LCD thumb drive reading televisions. Televisions are strategically located in the Family Health Clinic, Lab/TOPA lobby, Pharmacy area, and the Dental Clinic. Each television runs tailored informational slides with direct individual department input . For updates, we used a stand-alone off network laptop that reads the DVD input gathered from all trained unit public affairs representatives (UPARS) collated with the PCMH teams, 18th Wing Helping Agencies, and clinic customer feedback. The thumb drives are updated real time by our Red Cross volunteer. The power point presentations are also used with extra facility social media technologies. Additionally, we solicited input from base newcomers, 18th Wing Community Action and Information Board (CAIB)/Integrated Delivery System (IDS). Our facility mounted 3X4 website/social media patient education signs in our lobbies to include utilizing a separate billboard during base newcomers orientation.


Data gathered through Service Delivery Assessment DA monthly reports and local Interactive Customers Evaluation (ICE) system indicate an overall downward trend of complaints regarding basic clinic information.


Innovative approaches for medical customers are not only sustainable but necessary in this fiscal environment. This approach remains flexible, adaptable, and sustainable to meet our customers ever changing needs resulting in direct cost savings and increased customer education both inside and outside our facility to include the ability to be replicated easy is other healthcare settings.

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