Skip to main content

Military Health System

DHA Appointing Portal simplifies signing up for COVID-19 vaccination

Image of military health personnel wearing a face mask scheduling COVID-19 vaccine shots. Click to open a larger version of the image. An Airman navigates the DHA Appointing Portal to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, April 6. The portal allows service members, civilian employees, and TRICARE beneficiaries to schedule vaccine doses at their installation’s vaccination sites (Photo by: Todd Maki, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

When a new online and easy-to-use COVID-19 vaccine appointment portal was launched as a pilot program at 28 military medical treatment facilities last December, the hope was to expand it globally in the first few months of 2021.

That goal is being accomplished, and in the last month, military service members and beneficiaries around the world have been able to quickly and easily make their own COVID-19 vaccination appointments using the tool, called the DHA Appointing Portal (DAP).

"DAP is a simple online tool to help patients schedule the time and date for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment at your closest military hospital or clinic," said Air Force Lt. Col. Regina Tow, project manager, DHA COVID-19 Vaccine Information Technology Planning. "It's accessible from outside the Department of Defense network on any computer, tablet, or smartphone."

The innovation originated at Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, last year, and after the pilot, it is now "stood up from Landstuhl (Medical Center), Germany, all the way to Korea," said Rick Barnhill, deputy chief medical information officer at Madigan Army Medical Center, JBL-M. Barnhill was quick to credit his lead computer scientist, Scott Evans, with development of the low-cost tool.

Army Maj. Heather Woodruff, chief of the Clinical Systems Support Department for the Directorate of Healthcare Operations at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia, was involved with the pilot program.

"Across our Military Health System, one of our biggest constraints was having a good scheduling platform for our beneficiaries and for those (non-military) personnel eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine," said Woodruff, DAP's administrator at Fort Belvoir. "We didn't have an appointing center ... and not everybody had access to TRICARE online, so it was really kind of challenging.

Rick Barnhill sitting in front of a screen with all the COVID-19 vaccination appointments scheduled
Rick Barnhill, the deputy chief of informatics, sits in front of a screen displaying the COVID-19 vaccination appointment scheduling application that he and his team created at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, that has been adopted as the scheduler by Defense Health Agency (Photo by: Madigan Army Medical Center Public Affairs).

Woodruff noted that she and her colleagues were using Excel spreadsheets to fashion together bookings for different agencies, made more complicated by the tiered system of priority for those eligible for the vaccines over the winter.

"What we really needed and what this portal has done is given us the capability to have a non-restrictive appointing platform that can be accessed from any network for patients to schedule," she said. "They don't have to have a (Common Access Card), they don't have to be on a military network. They can do it from their personal computers, their personal Wi-Fi. It has allowed us to maximize patient appointments - getting as many people through the door as we can.

Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Kenneth Puckett, senior enlisted leader at Naval Medical Readiness Training Unit in Groton, Connecticut, said his command was only in the initial weeks of the rollout of DAP, transitioning from the U.S. Fleet Forces mid-Atlantic region's Vaccine Tasking Order process. April 12 was Groton's first full day of use for the portal.

"On our end we did not have any bugs or issues with it," Puckett said. "Any first day jitters were based on communications, like instructions on the greeting page that weren't followed, but nothing inherent to the web site."

Groton capped its doses per day to 100 to start.

The sites are all centrally hosted on servers at Madigan.

"Nobody has to load anything at their hospital, or locally - we have it all here for them," Barnhill said.

the DAP logo
For more information about the DAP, see Schedule Your COVID Vaccine Appointment with DHA Appointing Portal: https://newsroom.tricare.mil/Articles/Article/2570153/schedule-your-covid-vaccine-appointment-with-dha-appointing-portal

The sites have unique landing pages that detail eligible patient groups and which vaccine is being used. These vary and are subject to change daily. The Dunham Army Health Clinic in Pennsylvania, for example, recently showed a week-by-week dose eligibility breakdown for April and May. Meanwhile, at seven sites on Okinawa, Japan, vaccines were already available for anyone 18 and over, with no medical condition required.

But the sites are otherwise uniform in their intuitive step-by-step list of pages, which lead the user to a calendar that outlines days with appointments. Once you click on an appointment time, a short questionnaire is filled out and one's request for an appointment is sent to the MTF.

As with any new software platform, the sites have not been without bugs from the admin side. Issues are brought to DHA's attention to work with the developers to make corrections, Woodruff said, adding that she's confident hurdles can be overcome quickly. Even with a few bugs, the portal is an invaluable tool where none existed before, she said.

Since last month, hundreds more sites have been fielded. Use of the system is not mandatory, but if a site chooses not to use DAP, it must use another DHA-approved documentation method. The DHA offers weekly DAP training sessions to demonstrate system functionality and to educate MTFs about system capabilities.

"It's pretty simple, pretty straightforward, easy to get into, easy to book," said Puckett.

The sites will be adaptable for other future uses.

"You can modify this for any immunization or appointment type, so, say for next fall and flu season, you could certainly (schedule) your flu shots through this (portal)," Barnhill explained. "Boosters for COVID vaccinations, we could add that in. School physicals...there's a lot of different things you can do with a web tool like this as far as setting people up for events and care."

The DAP is just one of the available paths to make a vaccine appointment. The Military Health System has several tools to help TRICARE beneficiaries and DOD community members schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Those individuals who are eligible and authorized can visit TRICARE COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Directory, to see what appointment tools each location within the MHS is using.

More information about the DAP can be found in the DAP toolkit

You also may be interested in...

Updated Guidance for Performing Temperature Checks at Military MTFs and DTFs

Publication
10/21/2020

This guidance is an update to Defense Health Agency Return to Full Operations Concept of Operations, V5.0 (June 12, 2020) as it pertains to temperature checks in MTFs and DTFs. Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), previous guidance directed MTFs to take the temperature of all individuals entering the facility. Effective immediately, temperature checks are not required; however, screening of individuals entering MTFs and DTFs and healthcare personnel on duty in the MTF or DTF is to continue.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 12) -Department of Defense Guidance for Personnel Traveling During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
8/6/2020

This memorandum supplements requirements in references (a), (b), and (c) with respect to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and replaces reference (d). It provides pre- and post­travel guidance for purposes of force health protection (FHP) of Service members, DoD family members, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractor personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Supplemental Guidance 10 for Military Medical Treatment Facilities and Military Dental Treatment Facilities Directors in regards to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Publication
7/1/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Communication to ABA Providers Regarding Continued Temporary Authorization to Utilize Telehealth for CPT Code 97156 During the COVID-19 National Emergency

Publication
6/3/2020

TRICARE is announcing the continuation of the temporary exception to policy regarding the use of synchronous telehealth (TH) capabilities (both audio and video) for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Family Adaptive Behavior Treatment Guidance services specifically during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Information for Patients: About TRICARE

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 9) -Department of Defense Guidance for Deployment and Redeployment of Individuals and Units during the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
5/26/2020

This memorandum provides force health protection (FHP) deployment and redeployment guidance for Service members (including Reserve Component (RC) and National Guard members in a title 10 or title 32 duty status) and DoD civilian employees deploying within and outside the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with references (a) and (b).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Guidance for Commanders on Risk-Based Changing of Health Protection Condition Levels During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
5/20/2020

This memorandum provides guidance for commanders to consider when making decisions to change health protection condition (HPCON) levels as COVID-19 pandemic conditions on and adjacent to our installations begin to improve.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Resuming Elective Surgical, Invasive, and Dental Procedures in Military Medical and Dental Treatment Facilities

Publication
5/19/2020

This memorandum provides guidance on how each Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) and Dental Treatment Facility (DTF) may resume elective medical and dental procedures.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Modification and Reissuance of DoD Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 -Travel Restrictions

Publication
4/20/2020

All DoD Service members will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect. All DoD civilian personnel, and dependents of DoD Service members and DoD civilian personnel, whose travel is Government-funded will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Implementation Guidance for Presidential Memorandum, "Providing Federal Support for Governor's Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 ," Dated April 7, 2020

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Benefits Eligibility for 32 USC 502(f) Missions

Publication
4/14/2020

A chart outlining the various Benefits Eligibility for 32 USC 502(f) Missions

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Information for Patients: About TRICARE

Memorandum on Providing Federal Support for Governors' Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Delegation of Authority for Reserve Component Activation Authorities during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Response

Publication
4/10/2020

This delegation assigns to the Service Secretaries the authority to activate Reserve Component personnel and to modify their orders as needed to employ and retain them for the COVID-19 response.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Authorization to Employ Military Medical Capabilities to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Publication
4/8/2020

Effective immediately, the Commander, U.S Northern Command, is authorized, as he deems necessary and appropriate, to employ military medical capabilities under his operational control to treat patients who have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Decision Memorandum on TRICARE Implementation of the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"

Publication
4/7/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127, Division F, Section 6006(a), limits TRICARE authority to impose copayment or other cost-sharing for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and related provider visits that result in orders for or administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, cleared, or authorized diagnostic products. In order for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to implement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) must acknowledge the self-executing authority of the statute and direct the Director, DHA, or designee, to issue guidance implementing the statutory provisions.

Recommended Content:

Information for Patients: About TRICARE | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

DoD Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Publication
4/5/2020

Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 5
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 15, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery