JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
When Maj. Amanda E. Ferguson assumed her position as 628th Medical Group’s Pharmacy Flight commander in August 2017, she was determined to engage her team and unlock their innovative potential, a goal she shared that year in an article entitled, “70 years: Our Legacy through Airmen’s Eyes.” In it, Ferguson wrote, “The opportunity to lead [Airmen] and watch their ideas ignite one after the other is by-far the best part of my job.”
Last month, their vision came to fruition. After 12 months of deliberate planning, coordination and execution, the 628 MDG’s customers will enjoy expedited service for active duty and those seen in-clinic, an advanced automated check-in services through an IT system called Q-flow, expedited pick-up process through the use of a new IT system called GSL, a streamlined layout redesign, access to compounding therapy, more therapeutic options, text notification in lieu of waiting, and even optimized robots for filling prescriptions.
“We reviewed each of the four pharmacy phases to identify areas for improvement,” Ferguson said. “Of the four phases, three of them presented huge bottlenecks that significantly delayed how well we provided care. Not too long ago, for instance, our customers were easily waiting 120-180 minutes for prescription processing. Now, our projected wait-times have dropped to 30-60 minutes on a standard operational day.”
Over 50 base partners and medical personnel joined the pharmacy staff at the grand reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony after the center was closed for a full week in order to finalize the installation and training of the new systems. The ceremony was officiated by Col. Brian Musselman, 628th Medical Group director.
This remodel project affirmed the pharmacy’s commitment to improving the patient’s experience through trusted and reliable care in concert with Defense Health Agency’s priorities. A culture of prioritizing the patient experience permeates the 628th Medical Group, leading them to recently be selected as the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General’s “Clinic of the Year.”
One customer, a C-17 pilot from the 16th Airlift Squadron at JB Charleston, shared, “I absolutely love the pharmacy renovations. At first I was skeptical, but I quickly got over that when I saved at least an hour of my day by opting to have the pharmacy text me when my prescription was ready. The electronic check-in was easy to use and there was someone standing by in case I had any questions. Once I was checked in, I was able to go back to work until I received a text. I had my prescription in no time after that. No long lines, no waiting for my number to be called, and excellent expectation management. This renovation is definitely a step in the right direction.”
While the remodel is not a fix-all solution, said Ferguson, the improvements—which focus on efficiency, more on-site therapy options and safety—have shifted the operation in the right direction. “My kudos to the pharmacy staff for a successful remodel as well as for their passion for innovation with a true interest of the customers here at Joint Base Charleston,” she said.
To contact the pharmacy regarding your care, please call 843-963-6833 and follow the phone prompts to refill your medication or speak with a pharmacy staff representative. The JB Charleston Air Base Pharmacy is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is closed every third Wednesday of each month for training.