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News > Pediatrics Clinic receives Air Force first
Pediatrics Clinic receives Air Force first

Posted 11/16/2012   Updated 11/16/2012 Email story   Print story


by Brandice J. O'Brien
Tinker Public Affairs

11/16/2012 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 72nd Medical Group achieved a first for the Air Force and second for the Department of Defense. The National Committee for Quality Assurance, a private not-for-profit organization, recently recognized the pediatrics clinic with a three-year Level 3 certificate, the highest commendation.

Col. Dean Prentice, 72nd MDG commander, said credit and recognition belong primarily to Lt. Col. Amy Quirke and her team. The 72nd Medical Operations Support Squadron Medical Services Flight commander facilitated the tedious gathering, organizing and researching of data for the review board.

"Being recognized just validated all the hard work that's being done here at the clinic," Colonel Prentice said. "We have the data and the metrics, and we have programs in place to provide quality care. The NCQA checks medical records, pharmacy records and appointment availability, and it was a whole evaluation of what we do to take care of our pediatric patients. This was a monumental task on Colonel Quirke and the team's part. It was nothing that we did, but a validation of what we have done."

Earlier this year, the Air Force Medical Operations Agency selected the 72nd MDG's pediatric clinic as one of two units to participate in the NCQA certification program. The other pediatric clinic is in the 21st Medical Group at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The deadline was Sept. 30 and the NCQA wanted three months of data.

Organizations typically seeking recognition from the NCQA are evaluated on more than 60 standards in 40 categories. Because it was only the pediatrics clinic being considered for recognition, the National Committee for Quality Assurance graded Tinker on 28 standards in six areas, said Colonel Quirke.

Colonel Quirke and her team researched three months of data - April through June 2012.

Colonel Prentice said 449 practices were evaluated using 2011 standards. Thirty-eight practices scored a level 1, or in the 35-59 percent range; 92 were rated at level 2, or in the 60-84 percent range; and 319 practices achieved a level 3 status; which is the 85-100 percent range.

Tinker's overall scored was a 96 percent, earning them a Level 3 certificate. The certification is good for three years; it expires Oct. 25, 2015.

"This was definitely a team effort across the entire medical group and I am proud to say we have some amazing folks," Colonel Quirke said. "When information was needed to verify our statistics on access to appointments and nursing advice, we turned to our group practice managers and coders. If NCQA wanted to see our latest documentation in the patient's record electronically, we turned to our allied health subject matter expert. None of this could have been possible had it not been for our clinic providers, nurses, technicians and administrative staff.

"The quality our clinic provides has always been and always will be present," Colonel Quirke said. "We simply showed NCQA what we already knew - we are a medical group with heart and we give 'the best care anywhere.'"

The pediatric clinic is comprised of two pediatric doctors, one nurse practitioner, three registered nurses and seven medical technicians. The clinic has approximately 3,500 patients.

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