Back to Top Skip to main content

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...

Appenzeller emphasizes: Get COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where

Article
4/16/2021
Military personnel explaining forensic equipment

The DHA’s Combat Support assistant director had some direct and encouraging words about the military’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to date.

Recommended Content:

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

Tele-critical care will play increased COVID-19 response role in 2021

Article
4/15/2021
Infographic that says "202 tele-critical care successes will help 2021 COVID19 response"

Virtual health and particularly tele-critical care for critically ill patients assumed frontline roles in sustaining care while keeping beneficiaries and health care teams safe.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

Join Us!! Third COVID-19 Townhall Update with Major General George Appenzeller!

Article
4/13/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, with Major General (Dr.) George N. Appenzeller.  Wednesday, 14 April, 1 PM ET

Join us for the MHS' Third COVID-19 Townhall with Major General George Appenzeller

Recommended Content:

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

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The DOD hit the 2 million mark for vaccinations worldwide just a month after the 1 million milestone.

Recommended Content:

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

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | April Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Children’s well-being contributes immeasurably to force readiness

Article
4/6/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask in the back of a truck

The Defense Health Agency joins in celebrating military children during Month of the Military Child, observed in April, and always.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | April Toolkit | Month of the Military Child – Celebrating the Mighty | Coronavirus | Month of the Military Child | Month of the Military Child Image Library

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Article
4/1/2021
Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Research and Innovation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DOD healthcare leaders give COVID-19 update, praise DHA personnel

Article
3/30/2021
Picture of Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr. Ronald Place providing a COVID-19 update at  the Pentagon

Dr. Terry Adirim and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place provide update on COVID-19 vaccination progress and offer thanks to MHS workers for their contributions.

Recommended Content:

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

Lovell FHCC staff steps up to create formidable COVID-19 team

Article
3/30/2021
Military health personnel preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination effort at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, has brought out the best in staff.

Recommended Content:

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

Dover Air Force Base features ‘Park ‘N Pickup’ pharmacy

Article
3/26/2021
Picture of prescription sitting on a counter

Due to the increased need for patient safety, the 436th Medical Group pharmacy at Dover Air Force Base has implemented a Park ‘N Pickup process.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety Awareness Week | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Patient Safety

DHA Form 207: COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Document

Form/Template
3/25/2021

The purpose of this form is to determine if the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to the patient.

Recommended Content:

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

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

  • Identification #: 20-003
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Eight nations participate in West African virtual pandemic exercise

Article
3/24/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask looking at a laptop computer

Medical experts from six African nations, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in a Virtual Pandemic Preparation and Response Engagement exercise.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Partners

Army dietitian uses nutritional care to fight COVID-19

Article
3/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask standing in front of a Nutrition Clinic

Army dietician plays a critical role in COVID-19 patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 51

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.