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

DHA IT helps beneficiaries, providers and workforce through pandemic

Image of Several military personnel, wearing masks, filling out paperwork. One woman is giving the thumbs up sign. Defense Health Agency (DHA) COVID-19-related updates to Military Health System health care information technology systems ensure MHS providers like Navy Seaman Norelle Dry, assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, California, can continue to deliver top-tier care to Service members and beneficiaries during the pandemic. DHA IT system updates also helped patients manage their health care virtually and provided Department of Defense leaders timely information on critical medical supplies and equipment. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Elisha Smith.)

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Coronavirus

Defense Health Agency information technology (DHA IT) teams demonstrated their versatility and responsiveness ensuring Military Health System patients continued to receive high quality health care during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout 2020. The IT teams also provided innovative tools to MHS health care providers and DHA employees to enable to function during the pandemic.

For patients, they established virtual COVID-19 screenings and appointments, allowing patients to manage their health care online rather than in person at military medical treatment facilities (MTFs) where they could place themselves and others at risk of infection. For providers, they established COVID-19 protocols within electronic health record (EHR) systems and other health care applications enabling them to identify and document infections.

“As soon as the pandemic hit, our teams quickly kicked into high gear to deliver some critical updates to our systems and applications,” said Army Col. Francisco Dominicci, chief, DHA Solution Delivery Division, which sustains more than 60 different MHS health care applications. 

“We made updates to the TRICARE Online Patient Portal (TOL PP) to allow patients to make virtual visits with their providers via the portal,” he explained. “Starting in March, TOL PP facilitated more than 160,000 virtual visit appointments.”

Among other COVID-19 relief efforts, Dominicci said the IT teams worked with DHA Medical Logistics (MEDLOG) to update MEDLOG IT applications to track MHS personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical medical equipment in real time. They also mapped strategies for tracking vaccine distribution across the Department of Defense. 

“In February, our teams created a Novel Coronavirus query tab in the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) application,” he added. “The following month, they launched a COVID-19 dashboard in ESSENCE that allows users to monitor the number of COVID-19 lab results in real time.”

The IT teams also developed and released a progressive web-based application for Antimicrobial Stewardship with COVID-19 content in April to help providers with needed COVID-19 triage protocols, Dominicci said. 

In March, the IT teams expanded Enterprise Blood Management System-Transfusion (EBMS-T) blood availability reports to the Armed Services Blood Program to include greater inventory level details on all blood components maintained at MTFs. The teams also made configuration changes to EMBS-Donor, enabling donor sites to create labels to track COVID-19 convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies from COVID-19 survivors.   

Dominicci explained how the IT teams deployed a COVID-19 Sentinel Surveillance testing application using TOL PP in the fall. More than 250 users were provisioned across 35 military sites to use the application to gather information at the population level. Surveillance testing is used to monitor the community-level of a disease or to characterize its incidence and prevalence.

The DHA workforce was also able to transition to a telework environment after the IT teams ensured the networks could handle the heavy traffic. They also enabled multiple online collaboration tools, such as video conferencing, to keep the workforce connected.

Along with fighting COVID-19, the IT teams logged other impressive achievements last year. They completed major upgrades to in-patient EHR systems at 46 MTFs around the world in November, Dominicci added. 

In August, the DHA IT team launched the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) system at the joint DoD-Department of Veterans Affairs James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago. The DMLSS launch came after several years of planning, coordination and preparation between the DHA, DOD and VA. 

“The launch represented a major step in replacing the VA’s supply chain IT infrastructure with DMLSS,” Dominicci said. “The end goal is to establish a single DoD-VA health care logistics system for acquiring medical and surgical supplies.”

IT teams also completed conversions of legacy funding systems to the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) at 26 Navy MTFs in September, he said. The GFEBS conversions enable DHA financial and funding control of Navy, Army and DHA sites that use DMLSS. 

In December, the teams completed an initiative to migrate 140 public-facing MTF websites to TRICARE.mil. Dominicci said the IT teams worked closely with the MHS Communications office, the Defense Media Activity and MTF public affairs office on the initiative, which should ultimately reduce site sustainment and hosting costs. Returning website users experienced no disruptions, as they were automatically redirected to the new sites. 

“These are just a few of the milestones DHA IT teams achieved in 2020,” emphasized Dominicci . “The IT teams met the pandemic head on and delivered highly effective, innovative solutions across the DHA and MHS.”

You also may be interested in...

8 Tips to Help Kids Adjust to Change during the New Pandemic Phase

Article
4/15/2022
A parent comforts his child while she receives a pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 28, 2022. (Photo: Airman 1st Class Anna Nolte, 18th Wing Public Affairs)

Parents should prepare their kids for the new normal of the ongoing pandemic, recognizing that the status of the disease can change quickly as new variants of COVID-19 emerge.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Children's Health

Got Your 6 | April 16, 2022

Video
4/15/2022
Got Your 6 | April 16, 2022

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ 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:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Military Medical Officials Back FY 23 Budget Before Senate Appropriations Committee

Article
4/6/2022
Marines with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing take precautionary measures by cleaning and disinfecting their hands during field day on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., March 20, 2020, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to perform mission-essential tasks. (Photo: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jaime Reyes)

Military Medical officials, including Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, Defense Health Agency director, back FY 23 Budget before the Senate Appropriations Committee, March 29, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

New App Addresses Service Women's Health Care Needs

Article
4/1/2022
Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen, one-stop resource for some of the most common questions and concerns that servicewomen have around deployment. (Photo: Connected Health)

The Defense Health Agency announces the release of Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen, the agency’s newest progressive web application.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Health Care Technology

Top Military Health Care Leader Looks to the Future of Medicine

Article
3/23/2022
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kathryn Lipscomb, the urology department head at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota in Spain, waves to staff in USNH Naples, Italy during the first virtual cystoscopy between both hospitals in Jan 2021. (Photo: Navy Cmdr. Ryan Nations)

Health care has come a long way in recent years, thanks to technology, innovation and unexpected challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. The explosion of capabilities includes robots in the operating room, the expansion of virtual health care and virtual encounters, remote patient monitoring and artificial intelligence.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Accelerating Digital Health Across the MHS

Video
3/22/2022
Accelerating Digital Health Across the MHS

Across the Military Health System, we are partnering together to leverage digital health wherever we can – to keep our patients at the center of everything we do.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Mobile Apps

How COVID-19 Made the Military Medical Community Stronger

Article
3/21/2022
Image of a service member being treated

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic has made the military medical community stronger and will help when confronting the next crisis, whether that’s another pandemic, a new conflict or natural disaster

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Responses Underscore Importance of Patient Safety

Article
3/14/2022
Every day, patient safety is one of the top priorities for the Defense Health Agency. Patient safety means providing ready, reliable care to service members, veterans, and dependents no matter the circumstances. (Photo: Defense Health Agency)

Patient safety is a topmost concern of MHS, and Patient Safety Awareness Week 2022 focuses on Ready, Reliable Care.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | Patient Safety Awareness Week | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Patient Safety Awareness Week

Answering Your Questions About COVID-19 Testing

Article
2/25/2022
Military personnel performing a COVID-19 Test

COVID-19 continues to spread, now as the Omicron variant. Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to protect you and your family from getting seriously ill, getting hospitalized, or dying. You should also make sure you’re up to date with your vaccines. Testing is another important step you can take to protect yourself and others.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Defense Department Announces Distribution of COVID-19 Tests for Military Beneficiaries

Article
2/25/2022
A Soldier assigned to the Connecticut National Guard helps load a shipment of at-home COVID-19 testing kits into a truck at a regional distribution point in North Haven, Connecticut, Jan. 3, 2022. These kits were picked up by representatives from local towns and municipalities to be handed out to their communities.

The Department of Defense will offer at-home COVID-19 tests for military beneficiaries at military hospitals or clinics, on a supply available basis, in the coming weeks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus

Latasha Smith: Warrior against COVID-19

Article Around MHS
2/18/2022
Military personnel looking at a patient's cardiac rhythm

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Latasha Smith, an Airman assigned to the 86th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, was celebrated as Airlifter of the Week, Jan. 27, 2022, after leading the assault against COVID-19 for over a year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MHS Video Connect Offers Convenience, Efficiencies for Providers

Article
2/16/2022
Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ryan Brennan

MHS Video Connect provides a safe and effective platform to virtually engage with patient “face-to-face”.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Information for Providers | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Military Medical Units Support Civilian Hospitals Strained By COVID-19 Surge

Article
2/14/2022
Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Gorman, a medical technician assigned to a military medical team deployed to Yuma, Arizona performs a nasal swab at the Yuma Regional Medical Center’s COVID testing drive-thru in Yuma, Jan. 17, 2022.

Thousands of service members have been supporting civilian hospitals with testing, vaccinations and treatment of seriously ill patients.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 therapeutics support DOD pandemic response

Article Around MHS
2/11/2022
Military personnel getting COVID-29 doses ready

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency is helping to protect the operational force by distributing several new therapeutic options that help to lessen the symptoms of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 and keep Soldiers, their families and beneficiaries out of the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines continues to study long-term effects of COVID-19 on Marines

Article Around MHS
2/10/2022
Medical military personnel talking to a patient

A team composed of U.S. Navy medical personnel and civilian technicians based out of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, assembled during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 to study the short and long-term effects that the virus has on Marines. 

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 39
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 12, 2021

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.