MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – On February 1, 2021, Madigan’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) took steps to improve access to care options for its patients. All patients who are active duty or family member beneficiaries seeking obstetric (pregnancies) or gynecologic (well-woman exams, PAP smears, contraception or problems related to women’s health) care need to contact their primary care manager (PCM) for a referral. Having a referral helps improve access to care and ensures patient needs are met in a timely manner either at Madigan OB/GYN or with providers in the network.“This is going to dramatically improve access for the patients we are caring for in our clinic,” said Lt. Col. Kelly Beeken, the chief of Madigan’s OB/GYN. “By limiting the number of obstetric and gynecologic patients, we expect it will make it easier for our patients to be seen in a timely fashion and to get the follow-up care they need. It will also make it easier for those patients to get a response in the MHS GENESIS portal or on the telephone.”Patients who have already been referred to the clinic can typically get a response within 3 business days about pregnancy or gynecologic concerns by Secure Messaging Madigan’s OB Clinic within the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal at "JBLM Madigan_OB/GYN Messages".For OB patients who need a same day appointment, virtual appointments are offered every morning with a nurse practitioner. These can be booked by calling the Puget Sound Military Appointment Center: at 1-800-404-4506. In addition, patients can all the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273 at any time 24/7 to talk with a nurse.OB patients who have non-pregnancy related needs (ear aches, sprained ankle, etc.) should contact their PCM, or utilize an off-base Urgent Care Center for their acute non-obstetric appointment needs.To support readiness, and provide access to care to service members, active duty patients remain the highest priority for care at Madigan OB/GYN, and will only be deferred to the network in extenuating circumstances.“The referral process allows us to defer to the network patients that we don’t have the capacity or capability to safely accommodate within the TRICARE standard timeframe. We want everyone who gets referred to OB/GYN for their care to get safe care in a timely fashion, even if that means that they are seen by a civilian provider. We are prioritizing seeing activity duty patients within the Madigan OB/GYN department,” added Beeken.For updates, online resources and OB orientation downloads for expectant mothers, visit the Madigan OB/GYN Department’s webpage at: https://madigan.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Womens-Health-Pregnancy where patients have access OB intake documents and forms available for download at any time.Madigan’s Social Media Links:Madigan’s Facebook:www.Facebook.com/MadiganhealthMadigan’s Twitter:www.Twitter.com/MadiganhealthMadigan’s Instagram:www.Instagram.com/MadiganmedicineMadigan’s LinkedIn:www.Linkedin.com/company/madigan-army-medical-center/Madigan’s YouTube:www.youtube.com/c/MadiganArmyMedicalCenter