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New medical process gives reservists more time for training

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Lopez, a 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical technician, takes the blood pressure of a reservist during the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing December unit training assembly at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2018.

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Lopez, a 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical technician, takes the blood pressure of a reservist during the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing December unit training assembly at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2018. The 302nd ASTS doubled the number of patients they typically see after implementing a new process to improve their efficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Frank Casciotta)

Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 302nd Airlift Wing move though medical evaluation stations during the December unit training assembly at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2018.

Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 302nd Airlift Wing move though medical evaluation stations during the December unit training assembly at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2018. Reservists at the 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron implemented a new process, which doubled the amount of patients they were able to see during the UTA. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Frank Casciotta)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Instead of spending hours completing their annual Periodic Health Assessments, reservists here were in and out in as little as 15 minutes during the December unit training assembly.

More often than not, time is in short supply during UTAs, which is why the Reserve Citizen Airmen at the 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron spent more than a year devising a plan to streamline their processes to ensure medical readiness for the wing and to give reservists more time for training.

“So many factors drove the new process, but the key here is efficiency,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Kim, the 302nd ASTS senior air reserve technician who spearheaded the idea. “We needed to find a way to do the job to the best of our ability without sacrificing the quality of the patient care we provide.”

Instead of calling for patients individually, 302nd ASTS personnel set up a route starting and ending in the lobby of the medical building.

Patients followed a roped-off route stopping at the different departments for their assessments based off a personalized checklist handed to them upon arrival. To prevent “traffic jams,” medical personnel were stationed along the path to guide patients and redirect them to other stations if providers had to spend more time with their patients.

“I love this this process,” said Tech. Sgt. Sandy Riley, a 302nd Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment technician, who has been here since 2010. “The whole thing took less than 30 minutes. And that time is valuable. We have a lot to do during the UTA and getting through this quickly lets us get back to what we need to do—training and the mission.”

To determine their maximum patient load, medical personnel equipped with stopwatches were at each station keeping track of how long each group took to finish. On the first day, groups arrived in 30-minute intervals. On the second day, that time was cut in half without overlap between groups.

“Our goals are, first and foremost, taking care of our Airmen and the mission,” said Col. Leon Barringer, the 302nd ASTS commander. “This new process furthers both those goals. I’m so proud of my enlisted Airmen.”