Pacific Regional Dental Command
HONOLULU — The Pacific Regional Dental Command has teamed-up with Tripler Army Medical Center to make access to dental care easier for Soldiers stationed in Hawaii.
PRDC is now automating the telephone system and offering dental text message appointment reminders.
Starting Dec. 7, Soldiers will only need to dial “4DENTAL,” or 433-6825, to reach any Army dental clinic in Hawaii, to include Schofield Barracks, Na Koa, and TAMC dental clinics.
The two initiatives began June 2011 as a Lean Six Sigma project launched by David Vreeland, chief, Strategy and Innovation, PRDC Headquarters.
“The days of dialing 10 different phone numbers in an effort to reach one of the three Army dental clinics located in Hawaii are over,” Vreeland said. “Soldiers will no longer hear a busy signal or the phone ringing endlessly without being answered. Soldiers will now select the clinic they are assigned to through an automated voice prompt system.”
Col. Randy Ball, commander, PRDC, said the Dental Activity’s strategic objective is to increase access and continuity of care to Soldiers.
“One phone number for our patients to access any of our dental clinics will certainly simplify the process to reach my staff,” Ball said. “We knew reaching our staff was, at times, difficult. Our intent is that … increasing the ability for Soldiers to contact our clinics will result in decreasing the appointments that are failed or unfilled. A phone call telling us you cannot make a scheduled dental appointment will enable us to give that appointment to another Soldier.”
The original clinic phone numbers will remain active until April 1, but will play a voice message reminding patients of the new telephone number.
“(Text reminders) have been used at the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic for more than a year,” Vreeland added. “We will send a text message reminder out to those patients that consented to receive the text 24-hours before their appointments and again two hours before their appointment.
“We lose hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in lost appointment opportunities when our patients fail to keep their scheduled appointment,” Vreeland continued.
Both Ball and Vreeland said the purpose of these advances is to increase the readiness of the warfighters, here, in Hawaii.
Soldiers stationed in Hawaii can now schedule their annual exams by phone instead of having to use walk-in or sick call hours and incur long wait times in the clinics.