Health Education While You Wait
Standardize information presented in waiting areas throughout military treatment facilities. Instead of showing cable TV or old children's movies, present information about the Medical Home, local services, and wider reaching standardized videos about common diseases and prevention.
Consider a video of a family cooking a healthy dinner. It could start at the grocery store or a farmer's market with selection of seasonal produce and lean proteins. The next scenes would include hand washing, preparing the foods, and a healthy way of cooking with a simple recipe or two. Final scenes would be the family sitting together to eat and discussing their day. These healthy behaviors are proven to decrease obesity, depression, child/teen behavior problems, etc.
Video topics could include: Asthma care, diabetes, hypertension, allergies, cold/flu symptoms and prevention, exercise options, proper stretching techniques, stress relief with different recommendations, how to deal with a bully, tips for surviving a deployment, PHA requirements and why we have an annual health assessment, population health screenings that are recommended and why they are important, immunizations recommended by age and when to get boosters, preparing for pregnancy, well child care, etc. The list is endless, and each command may not have the time or resources to produce the videos, but MHS could with distribution to all MTFs for a coordinated message to improve the patient experience (no more bad TV shows), increase readiness (emphasize annual requirements, immunizations, etc), improve population health (information about recommended screenings with an emphasis on importance) and decreasing per capita cost (better self-care, less obesity, more healthy habits, less disease and use of medical services). ). Certain local only services or messages could also be added if needed (such as an upcoming flu immunization clinic in the evenings, or information about an integrated behavioral health provider that all clinics may not have).
Let's put our clinic and hospital TVs to good use with a closed circuit or video service that is MHS approved and a coordinated message for improving the health of our beneficiaries!