Chapter 3: Tripler Army Medical Center
Updated On: 5/29/2013 10:07:27 AM
The origins of Tripler Army Medical Center date back to 1907 when several wooden structures at Fort Shafter were used as a hospital. The facility was named in 1920 after Brigadier General Charles Stuart Tripler, in honor of his contributions to Army medicine during the Civil War. At the start of World War II, the hospital at Fort Shafter had 450 beds. Plans for a new Tripler hospital atop Moanalua ridge were drawn in 1942 and construction was completed in 1948. The architecturally distinctive coral pink structure, nestled on the southern slopes of Oahu’s Koolau range, was dedicated on
Sept. 10, 1948, and has become a familiar landmark on the island of Oahu.
Tripler Army Medical Center Today
Tripler Army Medical Center is the largest military medical treatment facility in the entire Pacific Basin. Located in central Oahu, Tripler is well situated to serve its primary beneficiaries, the active-duty personnel of the U.S. military armed forces and their families. Tripler is also the regional medical command for the U.S. Pacific Command. Its geographic area of responsibility spans more than 52 percent of the earth’s surface, from Hawaii to the eastern shores of Africa. Nearly 400,000 people in the Pacific Basin are eligible to receive care at Tripler, the Pacific Regional Medical Command’s premier teaching medical center. This includes active-duty service members of all branches of service, their eligible families, military-eligible retirees and their families, veterans, and many residents of Pacific Islands. The medical center is voluntarily accredited by the Joint Commission. Tripler’s entire staff of more than 3,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel are evaluated to ensure that the hospital continues to provide quality and excellence in medical care. The staff is dedicated to continuous quality improvement, and providing state-of-the-art medicine with state-of-the-art technology.
For the latest information about changes to services, hours of operation and events and initiatives, follow TAMC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TriplerArmyMedicalCenter.
Tripler’s Vision and Mission
Tripler’s vision statement describes Tripler as: “America’s premier medical team saving lives and fostering healthy and resilient people throughout the Pacific region; Army Medicine…Army Strong!” Its three-fold mission is to: “Promote, sustain, and enhance service members’ health; train, develop and equip a medical force that supports full-spectrum operations; and deliver leading-edge health services to our warriors, military families and veterans to optimize outcomes essential to ensuring a capable U.S. military force.”
Deploying a force that is fit to fight is the primary reason for Tripler’s existence. More than 500 staff members are also PROFIS (Professional Filler System) staff, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, if needed, to South Korea and elsewhere in Pacific Command’s area of responsibility, on humanitarian and emergency missions. Tripler’s service region includes Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Johnston Atoll, Guam, American Samoa and various Pacific Island nations.
Tripler and Tricare
Like the rest of the medical community in the United States, military medicine is a wellness-based model of managed healthcare. Tricare Prime is the military’s managed care approach to providing health services. Its programs and staff emphasize the development and maintenance of healthy lifestyles.
Tripler also provides administrative and logistical support to the Pacific Regional Dental Command and the Pacific Regional Veterinary Command, both headquartered on the grounds of Tripler AMC on Moanalua Ridge. The Veterinary Command provides military veterinary services to Department of Defense forces and missions in more than 20 countries in the Pacific theater. Tripler also works closely in a joint venture with the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center, Honolulu—VA Pacific Islands Health Care System.
Visitor Control Center: located near the Tripler gate and is operated by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Emergency Services. The VCC provides daily passes for visitors to the Tripler installation (to include the hospital, other post facilities and family housing). Tripler staff and patients can contact the Tripler Provost Marshal for assistance with guests.
Parking: Mountainside patient parking lots are located just outside the Mountainside entrance. Oceanside patient parking lots are street level around the flagpole. Additional parking areas for patients, visitors and staff are located below Tripler itself and in the parking structure across the mountainside VA Medical Center on Patterson Road. See map of Tripler Army Medical Center on pages 100 and 101 for parking information.
Valet Parking: (Weekdays, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.), is available at Tripler on the Mountainside entrance and at the Emergency Department/Internal Medicine Clinic’s entrances of the hospital except federal holidays. The valet parking is provided by a private contractor with a user fee of $5. Eleven percent of the user fee is returned to USAG-HI’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which oversees the contracted service.
Shuttle Service: Tripler offers door-to-door Tripler Trolley service from 6 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to all our parking lots, providing shuttle service around the Tripler campus to include the Oceanside and Mountainside entrances, D-Wing Entrance, Emergency Room Entrance, Fisher House, and the Tripler Lodge. Call 433-1200 when you arrive and the Tripler Trolley will be radio-dispatched to your area.
“808” is the only area code for Hawaii. The seven-digit Tripler and U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks telephone numbers all begin with the prefix “433.” NOTE: Most telephone numbers for other Army offices on Schofield Barracks start with “655.” Wheeler Army Airfield uses a “656” prefix. Fort Shafter uses a “438” prefix.
When calling a “433” number from any Oahu phone that doesn’t begin with “433,” dial the normal seven-digit number. For example, if you are calling from 532-1000, to call Tripler’s information desk, dial 433-6661.
When calling another Hawaiian island, you must use the Hawaii state-wide area code “808.”
Tripler and Schofield Barracks Telephone Directory Assistance
For Tripler and U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks telephone numbers, call the Tripler Information Center at 433-6661 or 433-2778, Option #0. For other military telephone information assistance, call 449-7110.
Tripler has simplified the process of making appointments. You can make a number of clinic appointments by just calling this single phone number, 433-2778, and accessing the Central Appointment System (CAS).
Directory Key: Appointments to Clinics/Offices listed on Page 13 may be made by calling the Central Appointment System (CAS) line, 433-APPT (433-2778), and then following the menu options. See page 15 for an explanation of the CAS and page 13 for CAS clinic codes.
Text Telephone User Line (TTY)
Hours: Daily, 24 hours
This line is only for callers using a telephone device for the hearing-impaired. The TTY line is located at the Information Center.
Oceanside Entrance, 1st Floor, A-Wing
Hours: Open daily, 24 hours
Need Some Help Finding Your Way Around?
Information desks are located just inside Tripler’s Oceanside and Mountainside main entrances. The Information Center staff fields hundreds of questions daily and is very knowledgeable about Tripler. If you haven’t been able to locate the information you want, call the Information Center at 433-6661. If they can’t answer your question, they will direct you to someone who can. Visitors can use wheelchairs located near the Oceanside entrance information desk and the Mountainside entrance Medical Records/Information Desk. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Central Appointment System (CAS)
Tripler Army Medical Center and U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks use a Central Appointment System (CAS) that allows a patient to dial just one number to make appointments with several clinics. Want to avoid using the phone system? You can also make primary care manager appointments on the Internet at www.tricareonline.com.
To Call for Appointments 433-2778
To Cancel Appointments 433-2778, Option #2
Appointment Service Hours:
Weekdays, 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed, Saturday, Sunday and all federal holidays
Best days to call: Thursday and Friday after-
Worst days to call: Monday, Tuesday and after
Best time to call: 9-11 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
Primary Care appointments can also be booked online at www.tricareonline.com.
How CAS Works
Tripler’s central appointment line (433-2778) is menu-driven. This allows you to direct your call to the appropriate clinic appointment clerk, by choosing from ten main menu choices, then choosing from other series of menu choices, to contact the specialty clinic or office you want.
Patients should not expect to see a doctor without an appointment, except for emergencies and announced walk-in clinics.
Family members should have their sponsor’s social security number and other required DEERS information available when they call for an appointment. See Chapter 2, page 9 to register for or to update your DEERS information.
Appointment personnel will ask the caller questions to help them evaluate the health situation of the person requiring care, so that they receive the appropriate care.
Patients who find they cannot keep a scheduled appointment should cancel it as soon as possible, so that another patient can fill the appointment time. Call the 24-hour cancellation line at 433-2778, Option #2.
The Emergency Room driveway entrance is on Jarrett White Road, on the east side of the hospital complex. If you feel you have a serious emergency medical condition, do not hesitate to call 911 for an ambulance.
Which Patients Should Go to the Emergency Room (ER)?
The ER is designed to care for problems that require rapid attention by a physician, such as a suspected heart attack, loss of consciousness, difficulty in breathing, a broken bone or other severe injuries.
Patients with emergencies have priority over non-emergency conditions. Patients with minor problems (most rashes, colds, etc.), problems that are a few days old, or those who need prescription refills, should not seek evaluation in ER.
Hospital Admission and Discharge
Hospital Admission 433-6112
Hospital Discharge 433-5258
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
1st Floor, A-Wing, Room 1A020A
After Hours, Weekends and Holidays:
1st Floor, A-Wing, Room 1A017
Normally, patients are discharged during normal duty hours and are processed through the hospital treasurer’s office. Patients or their sponsors must settle their accounts at the time of discharge or arrange for payment with the treasurer’s office. Payment may be made in cash or by check, money order, travelers’ check, payroll deduction, MasterCard or VISA.
After normal duty hours, weekends and holidays, payment by check is the only form accepted from patients being discharged. Patients should process their discharge in the Admissions Office after duty hours only.
Active-duty patients must also process through their appropriate service liaison, during normal weekday duty hours, (see “Military Liaison Office” on page 9) or after duty hours, with their unit’s personnel and administrative section.
1st Floor, C-Wing, Room 1C027A
Hours: Weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tripler’s internal mail distribution system serves patients and departments. See page 25 for U.S. Postal Service mail service.
Medical Correspondence/ Release of Information
Oceanside Basement Floor, A-Wing, GA 152
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Patients requiring copies of their inpatient or outpatient medical records must complete a request form, before the Medical Correspondence Office can release any medical information. Exceptions to this request requirement include release for treatment and payment for healthcare operations. Examples of release of information include Temporary Disability Insurance, medical statements, lab or X-ray results to Tricare or other outside physicians, retrieval of medical information from other hospitals or physicians, ETS and personal copies of medical records. The Medical Correspondence Office requires the patient to present an ID card with his or her signature on the request form or, if someone else is requesting the medical records, a medical power of attorney. Requests for information may take up to 30 days. Same-day requests will be filled for a physician request in the event that the patient is being seen at that moment.
Medical Records (Outpatient)
Mountainside Entrance, 4G Lobby Area
Hours: Weekdays, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Family Medicine Records
1st Floor, D-Wing
Hours: Weekdays, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Outpatient Records Office is located at the Mountainside main entrance information desk. Family Medicine patient records are maintained separately in the Family Medicine records office, located at the Oceanside clinic, 1st Floor, D-Wing.
Patients are no longer authorized to hand carry records to appointments. Patient information is documented on an electronic health record system. Your provider will notify us if they need your medical file. We will deliver files requested by providers. Medical records for appointments made 24 hours in advance through the Tripler Patient Appointment System are forwarded to the appropriate clinic before the appointment. Patients whose records are maintained at other military health clinics may want to request that the clinic transfer the records to Tripler.
Patients’ Trust Fund
Treasurer’s Office, 1st Floor
Oceanside Entrance, Room 1A020A
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
To protect and secure your monies and other valuables as an inpatient, you may deposit them in the patients’ trust fund when you are admitted to the hospital. If you are being discharged on the weekend or on a holiday, be sure to pick up your valuables on the Friday before that weekend or on the business day before the holiday.
See Tripler Facilities Map, pages 100-101
Handicapped Parking: Handicapped parking stalls are marked and are located in parking lots nearest the Mountainside and Oceanside main hospital entrances. Vehicles without approved permits cannot park in handicapped stalls.
Patient/Visitor Parking Areas: Patients and visitors have priority in all Tripler parking lots, including the lots nearest to the Mountainside and Oceanside entrances. The Tripler civilian police officers issue citations to Tripler employees not authorized to park in a patient lot.
For information about valet parking and shuttle van service to various Tripler locations see page 12.
VA Garage: Veteran Affairs (VA) and Tripler patients may park their vehicles in the Veterans Affairs parking structure mountainside of the hospital, at P1, P2 and P3 levels.
Employee Parking: Tripler staff and contractor personnel should park on the lower level Oceanside parking lots. They may also park in the basement and rooftop (PB and P4) levels of the VA garage.
Additional paved parking stalls are located at the site of the old officer’s club on the hillside directly above Tripler’s Mountainside entrance. This parking lot is open to patients and staff on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Parking Lot Security: Please lock your vehicles when parking anywhere at Tripler. Security personnel do patrol the parking areas and vehicles left there for extended periods attract their attention, but they may also attract the attention of vandals and burglars.
Overnight Parking: If you expect to be at Tripler for an extended stay, we recommend that you leave your vehicle at home. If you decide to park your vehicle at Tripler during an extended stay, you should:
- Park in the Oceanside parking lot near the flagpole.
- Ensure that all valuables are removed or are placed out of sight.
- Ensure all windows are up and the vehicle doors and compartments are locked.
- If your vehicle will be parked more than 72 hours, notify the Tripler Police by calling 433-1111.
- Patients should be able to provide their vehicle’s make, model, year and license plate number. This will help to ensure the security of the vehicle and prevent it from being towed away as an abandoned vehicle.
- Speed Limits: The maximum speed limit in any Tripler parking lot is 5 mph. The speed limit on Tripler roads is 25 mph. During posted PT hours, it is 10 mph. These limits are radar-enforced. Violators are issued summons, which require appearance at the U.S. District Court.
- Drive Carefully: Be alert for pedestrians and vehicle movements in parking areas.
Police/Provost Marshal Office
ID Badge and Vehicle Registration
Aloha Center, 1st Floor, Oceanside Entrance
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.-noon, 12:30-4 p.m.
3rd Floor, B-Wing, Room 3B312
Lost and Found: Daily, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Tripler Provost Marshal Office (PMO) provides patients, staff and visitors with identification badges, vehicle registration, and other police information. Its administrative offices are Oceanside, 3rd Floor, B-Wing.
The PMO provides the Army and the Veterans Affairs offices with 24-hour police services from its station at the Tripler Emergency Services Department. However, the officers on duty are frequently called away. For immediate assistance, call the information desk at 433-6661/2, 24 hours a day, who can contact them immediately.
Tripler AMC Safety Office
2nd Floor, A-Wing, Room 2A130, Diamond Head side of Blood Donor Center
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Follow the safety precautions below and make your stay at Tripler pleasant and safe!
Ask for help if you need it. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed; we’re here to assist you.
Follow health care instructions from your physician or nurse about treatment, activities, diet, etc.
Before using wheelchairs, crutches and other medical equipment, take the time to learn how to use it properly.
When getting out of bed and moving about the hospital, use caution and ask for help when in doubt.
Before plugging in any electronic equipment from home, such as radios, computers, VCRs and DVD players, check with the hospital staff.
Take your time and plan for ample time in moving about and doing things you need to do. Do your part to make your hospital stay as pleasant and safe as possible.
If you have a question or concern about safety, please call the Safety Office at 433-6078, weekdays, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Smoking is not permitted inside the hospital and where it may be a fire/safety hazard, such as lanais and covered areas, stairwells, loading docks and other areas with “no smoking” notices. Additionally, smoking is not permitted within 50 feet of:
- 1A Oceanside main entrance
- 4G Mountainside main entrance
- D-Wing main entrance
- H-Wing entrance to the Emergency Room
Please feel free to ask staff for directions to the nearest smoking area.
Generally, visitation hours are intended to allow the greatest flexibility for your friends and family to support and visit with patients, while balancing the safety and health of all the patients on the unit.
Each inpatient unit may have specific requirements for visitors due to the type of unit (example: Intensive Care Unit or the Psychiatric Units), but generally visitation is allowed daily, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. On the Labor and Delivery Unit, visitation is based on the patient’s condition, but may be at any time of the day or night. In units such as the Pediatric and Mother-Baby Units, a designated adult family member may remain to support the patient.
Before making arrangements for visitors, patients should consult with their Primary Nurse, who can address patient safety and unit-specific conditions that may affect number of visitors or hours of visitation.
Due to the size of rooms and equipment required to provide care, visitors are generally limited to two at a time. Each unit has a common visitation area where patients may come to visit with larger groups of visitors.
Children are especially at risk for infection and illnesses. Inpatient units may restrict visitation of children unless they are a sibling or child of the patient, and all children visitors must be supervised by an adult other than the patient.
Before deciding to visit a patient admitted to Tripler, visitors should assess their personal health. If visitors have symptoms that may indicate an illness, such as coughing, runny nose or open wounds that may transmit infections,
the nurse will direct the visitor to depart the unit or wear appropriate protective equipment, such as a mask. The nurse’s primary concern is the safety and healthcare for all the patients on the unit.
Tripler is a military installation. Its security policies follow regulations established by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. All visitors are checked at the main entrance to ensure the security of this military installation. Those without federal ID cards will be required to process through the visitor center and obtain a visitor pass. Please see Provost Marshal entry on page 18 for more information.
If you have any questions about visiting a patient at Tripler, please contact the nurse caring for the patient. Call the information desk at 433-6661 to be connected to the nurses’ station.