Preventive Health Assessment process moves online
By Master Sgt. Tracey Jorgensen, 162nd Medical Group
/ Published October 02, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Air Force is once again leveraging technology as a means of ensuring a medically ready fighting force.
An important part of medical readiness is the Preventive Health Assessment (PHA), which every Airman must complete once a year. In the past this has involved a visit to the Medical Group (MDG) and an interview with a medical technician.
While critically important, this process has always been costly in terms of the man-hours required for both the medical technician and the Airman, especially since most interviews did not result in the need for a visit with a provider. Advances in technology are now allowing the 162nd to accomplish the same goals, but without a visit to the MDG.
Starting in November the interview will be accomplished through a secure Web site known as the Web Based Health Assessment (WebHA), which every Guardsman will be able to access from any computer with internet access - at work, at home, or even when deployed.
Medical technicians will review the web-based interview results; and if problems are identified which require medical attention, the technician will contact the member to schedule an appointment with a medical provider. This will also allow the clinic to more efficiently tailor care to the specific needs of the patient.
WebHA will replace the SF 507, Interval Medical History Form; a list of health assessment questions that all Airmen answer each year. The WebHA will be more effective than the "Yes or No" responses currently required. WebHA will measure health responses with a severity that will enable the MDG to process information more effectively. These types of measures will provide invaluable information as time progresses. In the future the MDG will be able to see how many people have had a problem in a given year that may need to be addressed more aggressively.
The WebHA will identify areas of risk that a provider may decide requires further information or assessment. This information can be used as a population health tool to identify systemic health patterns and trends that members might have manifested.
WebHA meets the Defense Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process Requirements. This means that members will need to access the Air Force Portal and fill out their WebHA from that mechanism.
Wing members will be contacted two months prior to their birth month, by the Force Health Management Office, to log onto the Air Force Portal and fill out the WebHA.
After completing the questionnaire, the patient will be notified by letter from the MDG of the requirements that need to be completed for that year.
Annual requirements will be dental and WebHA. Unit members on the Occupational Health Program will still need to complete a hearing test and, if needed, see a doctor.
HIV tests will be completed every two years.
Vision examinations will be given every two years for those who wear glasses and every five years for those who do not.
Blood pressure will be measured every five years if the member is not on any medications. The test may be administered as required by doctors if patients are on any type of blood pressure medications.
Lately, the MDG has been inundated with requests for AF 422a's, Notification of Air Force Member's Qualification Status. The MDG is requesting at least 24-48 hours after a request to get the form back. The MDG will pull records and review the last PHA and dental information. The group needs to ensure that members are not currently on an AF 469, Duty Limiting Condition Report (4T Profile) prior to completing the AF 422a.
Any questions regarding the processes at the MDG may be referred to the Force Health Management Office at 295-6300 or the front desk at 295-6172.