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Brooke Army Medical Center and Womack's Access to Care Apps Serve as Resource Guides for Military Medical Care

Image of BAMC and Womack Access to Care Apps Serve as Resource Guides for Military Medical Care. The Womack Army Medical Center app’s user-friendly interface and unparalleled convenience gives users instant access to hospital and clinic information, prescription refills and lab results, guidance on accessing care, up-to date announcements, and other health care services. The app also includes access to the MHS GENESIS patient portal. (Sameria Zavala, Womack Army Medical Center)

The Defense Health Agency created resource apps for Brooke Army Medical Center and Womack Army Medical Center that are the first of a series planned across military hospitals and clinics to help beneficiaries gain easier access to health care services information.

The Brooke Army Medical Center Access to Care app, launched in February 2023, was the first of the expected wave. Based on a brochure developed by BAMC, it was converted into an app by DHA’s mobile and web technology program solution delivery division. Former BAMC commander, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen, requested the app be developed to help patients navigate their care, and to better understand treatment options to include telehealth and urgent care.

Users can access the app on their computers and mobile phones. It has a simple layout, quick access tab with frequently used services, maps of area military hospitals and clinics, and access to health care guidelines for adult and pediatric beneficiaries. It provides information for BAMC, Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, ten stand-alone military hospitals and clinics, and more than 100 specialty service providers.

BAMC serves more than 250,000 military beneficiaries across the San Antonio region. For more than 10 years, BAMC has been recognized as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” medical facilities for its innovative use of health information technology by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

“We believe BAMC and the San Antonio market is ahead of the curve in developing these type of resources that make it easier for beneficiaries to access care,” said David Coleman, chief of the development section, DHA mobile and web technology program.

The web technology program solution delivery division designs, programs, hosts, and maintains app operations.

Womack Came Next

At Womack Army Medical Center on Fort Liberty, North Carolina, the mobile friendly app contains phone numbers, hours of operation, and additional information on pharmacy, laboratory, and prescription refills, guidance on accessing care, up-to date announcements, and other health care services.

The app also includes access to the MHS GENESIS patient portal, telebehavioral health, bereavement support, and information on how to maintain Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System personal data.

Womack serves more than 160,000 beneficiaries in the region.

The Womack resource app “has received numerous compliments from our patient population, hospital staff, and leadership,” said U.S. Army Maj. Elbert T. Osborne Jr., chief of the Information Management Division. “We are grateful for the positive collaboration with DHA’s mobile and web technology program and look forward to future application enhancements.”

Womack’s app was launched in September 2023, and Osborne said he is looking to have current pharmacy wait times added and would like the ability to push out notifications to patients via the app.

App Advantages

“From a distribution perspective, for products that have historically been paper, anybody with any standards compliant web browser can now access that information from their smart phone or computer,” Coleman said.

“Apps make use of native functionality found on your smart phone, so phone numbers from a directory can be dialed with one click, email addresses can link to your email client, references to external websites or other apps can link directly to those resources, or a physical address can link to mapping applications for navigation.”

The timeline for developing mobile-friendly resource apps varies depending on “what customizations are required, and what volume of content is in play,” Coleman explained. “Some of our smaller projects can turn around in just a couple weeks, but more complicated projects can exceed a year.”

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