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...

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

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

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

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

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

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

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

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

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

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

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Infographic
5/27/2021
Graphic saying that keeping track of your vaccination card is important. Includes a helpful tips section, a link to www.tricare.mil/covidvaccine, and what to do when you didn’t get your vaccination card or don’t have a copy. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right of the page.

Keep track of your vaccination card. Tips include keeping your card on you and taking a picture of it as a backup copy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Costs and Documentation | Coronavirus

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | National Capital Region Market

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

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

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 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.