Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

MHS pharmacies adapt services amid COVID-19

A pharmacy technician stands at a car window delivering medications while wearing a mask and gloves. PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Grant Alvarez, 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron (left) and Capt. Lorna Neeley, 21st Medical Group, assist customers at the new drive-thru pharmacy located at the Peterson base exchange parking lot. This new procedure is being used to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Air Force photo by Craig Denton)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Pharmacies across the Military Health System are adapting their prescription services to protect high-risk patients and pharmacy customers and staff from COVID-19 exposure. Responding to Defense Health Agency guidance on prescribing during COVID and state and local stay-at-home and social-distancing requirements, pharmacies are finding ways to get patients their prescriptions with minimal patient-staff interaction. Each pharmacy tailors solutions to fit their physical layout, staffing capacity, and patient populations, resulting in what one patient described as “great, innovative ideas for short-term solutions.”

In Florida, Naval Hospital Pensacola added four staff per lane to its drive-thru pharmacy. Two of these gather information at car windows and radio inside to two filling prescriptions. This process allows the busy pharmacy to safely dispense up to 1,200 prescriptions a day. And Naval Hospital Jacksonville uses a “parking lobby” system to assign cars a numbered spot where patients can park until the prescription is delivered to them. 

Female soldier wearing a mask handing a bag to a woman in a car
SrA Reanne Kohlus, a dental technician assigned to the 59th Dental Group, hands a prescription over to a beneficiary March 30, 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas. 

At Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, patients pick up prescriptions curbside in the loop in front of the hospital, or they can have their prescriptions delivered to the bus stop close by, which offers a shaded area and a view of the Caribbean.

Facilities worldwide worked quickly to change services as the pandemic progressed. For example, Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio created a curbside pharmacy in less than 48 hours. 

“My team took this crisis very seriously and stepped up to do what was needed to ensure the safety of the patients visiting the pharmacy,” said Army Col. (Dr.) Stacey Causey, chief of the pharmacy department at Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas

Joint Base Andrews in Maryland set up a parking garage staging area. Patients turn on their car blinkers to let staff know they are picking up prescriptions. Staff “runners” then take the patient’s information and retrieve prescriptions from the staging area. And after base access was restricted for retirees at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, the pharmacy began holding point of dispensing days in the visitor control center. Staff and volunteers help with the “contactless” process of putting prescriptions in a bag on the hood or roof of retirees’ cars. 

Regardless of the method, each facility finds ways to maintain prescription safety protocols. At Jacksonville, parking lobby staff compare the prescriptions to the patient’s electronic health record in the pharmacy, confirm the patient's location in the parking lobby at a staging tent, and then take the prescriptions to the patient’s car for dispensing. Before dispensing, staff ask patients for two patient identifiers and use a portable cart to perform the “show and tell” method, showing patients the medicine as they explain directions for how to use.

Many pharmacies also added enhancements for efficiency, such as text messaging to notify patients when their prescriptions are ready or, in the case of Naval Hospital Pensacola, an app to submit refill requests. 

Patients across the MHS are sending their appreciation for the “super service” in customer evaluations and in comments on hospitals’ Facebook pages. 

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland has received “great feedback” on their curbside refill pharmacy which has served nearly 1,500 beneficiaries since they implemented it on March 27. 

"We've had great feedback in the utilization of our CSA [Centralized Screening Area] tent, as well as our curbside refill pharmacy, which moved from the NEX [Navy Exchange store] to the horseshoe driveway in front of the America Building," stated Army Col. (Dr.) Andrew Barr, director of WRNMMC.

And on Guantanamo’s Facebook page, a patient posted “thanks, and shoutout to the pharmacy, that’s a well-oiled machine … my pickup was painless. It made my self-quarantine possible just having to go from house to car back to house. Thank you, Hospital!”

You also may be interested in...

Services Will Make Call on Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines

Article
8/13/2021
Two medical people prepare syringes with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

Article
8/10/2021
Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for service members by mid-September, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a message to the force released yesterday.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Article
8/9/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021

I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Senior Medical Leaders Discuss COVID-19 Response

Article
8/6/2021
Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency making remarks

The keys to tackling the emerging COVID-19 pandemic were to quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the virus, and then put a plan in place to fight it, says DHA Director.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Debunking Anti-Vaccine Myths with Scientific Facts

Article
8/5/2021
A soldier gets a shot in the arm.

Get the facts: Myths on why not to get COVID-19 vaccination debunked by science

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Line Leader Presentation (PDF)

Publication
8/4/2021

This document is identical to the PowerPoint presentation for line leader reference and use.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Line Leader Presentation (Powerpoint)

Publication
8/4/2021

Leaders across the Department can leverage this briefing deck to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with their troops. Don't forget to reference speaker notes and to personalize the title slide!

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Vaccines: Benefits Still Outweigh the Risks

Article
7/30/2021
Military personnel getting vaccinated

Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections are extremely rare, DHA’s Place says

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities

Infographic
7/30/2021
In accordance with CDC guidance, the Department of Defense (DOD) requires all Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in all indoor DOD facilities.   If you are not vaccinated, continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DOD Force Health Protection Guidance.

In accordance with CDC guidance, the Department of Defense (DOD) requires all Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in all indoor DOD facilities. If you are not vaccinated, continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DOD Force Health Protection Guidance.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Directs Employees to Start Wearing Face Masks Again

Article
7/29/2021
Military personnel wearing a face masks

Following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DOD has directed employees working in areas at high risk for transmission to begin using face masks again

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Delta Variant

Got Your 6

Video
7/27/2021
Got Your 6

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil Find your local military provider at tricare.mil/MTF, or go to tricare.mil/vaccineappointments and schedule yours today!

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

It’s Not Over Yet: Some COVID Safety Precautions Remain Necessary

Article
7/22/2021
a crowd of people

Returning to society when fully vaccinated is great but keep that mask handy

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

How COVID-19 fast-tracked innovation in the Military Health System

Article
7/20/2021
Military personnel receiving the COVID-19 test

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every aspect of healthcare delivery, the Military Health System responded with new and innovative ways to fight the disease and deliver safe, quality care to patients.

Recommended Content:

Health Innovation Month | Innovation | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Got Your 6

Video
7/16/2021
Got your 6

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil. Find your local military provider at tricare.mil/MTF, or go to tricare.mil/vaccineappointments and schedule yours today!

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 07 - July 2021

Report
7/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Long-acting reversible contraceptive use, active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Oral cavity and pharynx cancers, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007–2019; The evolution of military health surveillance reporting: a historical review.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 58

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.