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

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:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Innovation Month

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...

USNS Mercy departs San Diego

Article
3/24/2020
The hospital ship USNS Mercy navigates the San Diego channel March 23. Mercy deployed in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense’s missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lasheba James)

Mercy's mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD aims to fill medical gaps with military while states, cities ramp up

Article
3/24/2020
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Pentagon to discuss the department's efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 23, 2020. (DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Brandy Nicole Mejia)

The secretary sees the military filling gaps in cities, states until they can deal with COVID-19 on their own

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

A full night’s sleep could be the best defense against COVID-19

Article
3/23/2020
Sleep is critical for maintaining physical, cognitive and immunological dominance on and off the battlefield. Leaders must prioritize sleep as a valuable asset in maintaining readiness and resilience, especially in the context of multi-domain operations and increased health risks worldwide – including those risks associated with exposure to infectious diseases (U.S. Army photo by Robert Timmons)

Getting more sleep could dramatically improve your odds of avoiding infection

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness

Air Force takes steps to assure ‘unblinking’ operations, readiness and capabilities amid pandemic

Article
3/23/2020
Air Force medics and health personnel around the globe are resolutely following and ensuring compliance with guidelines issued by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg.

Within the Air Force, our medics are executing all available measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Addressing emotional responses to threat of Coronavirus

Article
3/20/2020
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kathleen A. Myhre, 446th Airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer in charge, meditates outside the 446th Airlift Wing Headquarters building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Feb. 12, 2020. Myhre traveled to India in 2016 to study to become an internationally-certified yoga instructor. She now shares her holistic training with Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 446th AW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary A. Andom)

Even if you’re feeling healthy, medical professionals recommend staying home and limiting social contact as much as possible

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Physical Fitness | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Life Support Training Extension

Publication
3/19/2020

The purpose of this memorandum is to set policy guidance within the Military Health System for American Red Cross life support training (First Aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)/automated external defibrillator (AED), Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Place addresses DHA COVID-19 response

Article
3/19/2020
Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, and Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, discuss plans for additional COVID-19 response efforts with the Pentagon Press Corps.

Crisis Action Team part of broad-based effort

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD ready to help with Coronavirus, but capability limited

Article
3/17/2020
Misook Choe, a laboratory manager with the Emerging Infectious Disease branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md., runs a test during research into a solution for the new coronavirus, COVID-19, March 3, 2020. The Emerging Infectious Diseases branch, established in 2018, has the explicit mission to survey, anticipate and counter the mounting threat of emerging infectious diseases of key importance to U.S. forces in the homeland and abroad. (U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Walters)

The DoD has only about 2% to 3% of the number of hospital beds that the private sector has

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD issues flexible instructions on response to Coronavirus

Article
3/13/2020
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC Illustration)

The memo covers aspects from before the outbreak through all levels of infection

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

How DHA monitors the spread of health outbreaks

Article
3/13/2020
The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) is the central epidemiologic resource for the U.S. Armed Forces, conducting medical surveillance to protect those who serve our nation in uniform and allies who are critical to our national security interests. AFHSB provides timely, relevant, actionable and comprehensive health surveillance information to promote, maintain, and enhance the health of military and military-associated populations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

The Defense Health Agency works as a combat support agency to the military services and Military Health System

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Terry M. Rauch, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Force Health Protection and Readiness Regarding U.S. Biodefense and Response to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak [Testified] Before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Congressional Testimony
3/11/2020

Recommended Content:

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

COVID-19: Know what the terms mean

Article
3/10/2020
Image of a soldier taking the temperature of another soldier. Click to open a larger version of the image.

Learning the language can help you stay safe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Article
3/6/2020
A Guardsmen with the 341st Military Intelligence Battalion conducts translation work on a safety message regarding the best practices for avoiding the novel coronavirus for the Washington Department of Health on Feb. 9, 2020 at the Information Operations Readiness Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (Courtesy Photo)

Although news stories and images contain many reports of people wearing surgical masks to ward off the virus, that's not recommended

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD makes plans to combat Coronavirus

Article
3/4/2020
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speak to reporters at the Pentagon, March 2, 2020. (DoD photo Lisa Ferdinando)

The number one priority remains to protect our forces and their families

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

MHS prepared to support interagency coronavirus response

Article
2/6/2020
Airmen assist one another in donning their personal protective equipment, while on-board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during transportation isolation system training at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with diseases like novel coronavirus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller)

From R&D to force health protection, MHS protects DoD personnel and families

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus
<< < ... 41 42 43 44 45 > >> 
Showing results 646 - 660 Page 44 of 45

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.