Aerospace Medical Squadron streamlines its services

  • Published
  • By Jessica D'Ambrosio
  • 926th Wing public affairs
The 926th Aerospace Medicine Squadron is preparing to transition from paper to electronic medical records, as part of Air Force Reserve Command's total force integration initiative.

The 926th AMDS would be the third unit, and the first large unit in the command to use the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application. Currently, the Reserve uses all paper records while the Regular Air Force uses a mix of paper and electronic. AFRC recently adopted the AHLTA system and began digitizing records over the summer, working toward 100 percent digitalization by end of 2018.

"AHLTA reduces redundancies and makes the Physical Health Assessment process more efficient," said Senior Master Sgt. Misty Nash, AFRC Compliance Manager.

Another system called the Joint Legacy Viewer, allows viewing of data from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and certain state-run eHealth Exchanges with agreements approved by the Defense Medical Information Exchange office. So if a member is seen at a participating off-base facility or the VA, that provider can access their DoD health records. The reverse is also true for the Reserve medical provider.

The 926th AMDS volunteered to undergo the transition to AHLTA early in the process because a lot of its personnel are already using the RegAF's electronic system as TFI members. "The 926th is on the cutting edge; flyers want the F-35, and AMDS wants e-records," said Maj. Zachary Timko, 926th AMDS Director of Administration and Clinical Operations.

AFRC sent an evaluation team to Nellis at the beginning of December to assess the 926th AMDS' support and infrastructure in order to determine if it was ready to make the switch. "The 926th is an ideal candidate because its PHA process is very well organized and it had fostered excellent working relationships with the 99th Medical Group for many years," said Maj. Philip Wang, AFRC's Deputy Division Chief of Health Services Management.

"Staff willingness, which could be a roadblock, is not an issue here," Wang said. "Everyone here has a positive 'get it done' attitude."

Upon the recommendation from the evaluation team, the 926th AMDS is now developing an implementation plan for AFRC's review. Once approved, the digitizing process will begin, with plans for the AHLTA system to go live in spring or early summer 2016.

The first step in the transition is for all paper records to be "bulk scanned" into the Health Artifacts Image Management Solution system. Bulk scanning will be done by the AFMOA Service Treatment Record Processing Center in San Antonio, Texas.

During the evaluation, 926th AMDS personnel also received training on both HAIMS and the Joint Legacy Viewer so that they will be ready to begin the process once approved for transition.

"Our objective is to make the process more streamlined so personnel can get back to the mission ASAP," Timko said.