FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Moncrief Army Community Hospital leaders have taken action to resolve a provider shortage in hopes of improving the level of medical care received by Soldiers and their families, officials said recently.

Currently the system at MACH is over-enrolled, said Lt. Col. Robert Wenzel, who is the deputy commander for clinical services at the facility.

"We have a greater number of patients than we have providers to care for them," he said.
Officials' solution to the problem is that all Soldiers will still be seen at MACH, incoming families will be seen by an off-post provider.

The change should significantly decrease the provider-patient ratio and lessen the number of patients being seen by each provider to a little more than 1,000, Wenzel said.

"The intent is to reach the goal of patients being able to establish a relationship with their provider," he said.

Wenzel said that he believes the change will do exactly that, and benefit Soldiers and their families by strengthening the provider and patient relationship. Under the current system, it is possible that a patient could be assigned to a provider and rarely or never be seen by that person.

Pvt. Whitney Jones, Company D, 369th Adjutant General Battalion, said that she thought it would be beneficial for family members to be able to build a relationship with their providers.

"I think it's actually a good idea," Jones said. "I wouldn't want my family members not to be seen by the same provider."

Pvt. B.J. Sidarasavath, Company A, 369th, said he thought the system would be more efficient if providers did not have so many patients.

With the changes being implemented, hopefully providers can get to know and develop a relationship with patients, Wenzel said.

"That can't be done if (providers) have too many patients," he added.

Page last updated Wed October 28th, 2009 at 13:56