Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aime Lykins
PACIFIC OCEAN – The Sailors of USS John C. Stennis’ medical department passed an individual medical readiness inspection (IMRI) while at sea, Dec. 13.
The IMRI is an annual evaluation, conducted Navy-wide, for commands associated with naval air activities, both on shore and afloat.
“This inspection has to deal with the whole ship’s medical readiness,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Cook, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who works in John C. Stennis’ medical department. “For this inspection we had inspectors come out and review 120 medical records to ensure we had everything up-to-date, proper verifications performed and the record jacket itself is serviceable.”
A team of five inspectors flew on board for the inspection, which the medical department began preparing for in October.
“A lot of work has gone into preparing for this inspection,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Carly Marcum, from Jacksonville, Florida, who works in John C. Stennis’ medical department. “For each of the approximately 3,000 records on board, we had a checklist for the whole record from front to back. Even something as simple as having a checkmark instead of an ‘X’ on a patient form could be a hit, so we are going through each record to ensure it is perfect and meets the standard.”
Cook added that while the inspection itself lasted only a matter of a few hours, more than 200 hours of preparation time went into the inspection.
“When we got underway [in November] our main focus was records,” said Cook. “Medical is always very busy with routine operations and patients. In between chow, general quarters, training evolutions, sick call and drills, we filled in all that time with preparing records. I’m really proud of the medical team.”
After the inspection was completed, Capt. Kevin Brown, fleet surgeon and head of the inspection team, reported that John C. Stennis’ calibrated score for the inspection was 97.9 percent.
“My takeaway from the inspection overall is that we have an even better medical team here than I thought we did,” said Cmdr. Allen Hoffman, from Somerset, New Jersey, John C. Stennis’ senior medical officer. “I’m really happy with the numbers and even though we had a lot of things going on, everyone pitched in, helped out and it really shows how much the prep work paid off.”
The IMRI was last conducted on board John C. Stennis just prior to the ship’s Western Pacific deployment as part of the larger Medical Readiness Inspection (MRI), which is conducted within 90 days of a command’s regularly scheduled deployment and evaluates all aspects of a medical department’s mission readiness and capabilities.
Hoffman reported the score the medical department received for the IMRI was comparable, if not better than, the score it received during the 2015 pre-deployment.
“Things look really great on board and that is not just the medical department, particularly just coming off of deployment, it is a rare thing and that really comes from the leadership all the way down the line,” said Brown. “The medical team was very professional and I would be very happy to receive medical care and have my family receive care here. This was a great experience and that includes all the departments involved in our stay.”
As the ship’s medical department wraps up the year, Hoffman emphasized that the quality of care and records management will remain high even through the upcoming scheduled period of incremental availability (PIA) maintenance phase.