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News > TRICARE Online: your link to scheduling convenience
TRICARE Online: your link to scheduling convenience

Posted 6/7/2007   Updated 6/7/2007 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Brian Jones
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


6/7/2007 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Team Incirlik members can now schedule medical appointments from home, work, or any place with Internet access with a few clicks of a button through TRICARE Online.

TRICARE Online is a Web-based application where authorized users can schedule, view and cancel appointments, as well as access approved health content and personal health information, use pharmacy tools and check medications.

Members enrolled in TRICARE Prime can create a TRICARE Online account by going to www.tricare.mil and clicking on the Tricareonline.com link under "My Health" and then "Register Now." The 39th Air Base Wing has established a goal of 100-percent registration for active-duty members.

One major advantage of TRICARE Online is not having to wait until the central appointments line is open to schedule care.

"If you wake up at 2 a.m. and don't feel well, you can go online and make an appointment," said Stephanie McNamara, TRICARE medical services coordinator. "It's especially convenient for members with children or who work schedules like the night shift."

While scheduling an appointment on the central appointments line at a base the size of Incirlik doesn't usually involve long waits or near endless busy signals, it may be a different story at larger installations.

"At larger bases they're pushing for mandatory use of TRICARE Online," said Mrs. McNamara. "For Incirlik members who become familiar with the system now it won't be a shock to their system at their new base."

Many Team Incirlik members are taking advantage of the online system as the amount of bookings through TRICARE Online has increased more than 300 percent since April. The Air Force goal is to have at least 10 percent of all medical appointments scheduled online per month.

Other advantages of TRICARE Online are scheduling flexibility and additional privacy.

"(Through TRICARE Online) you pick a time and day that is convenient to you," said Mrs. McNamara.

"For some, TRICARE Online is preferred because it's more private," said Airman 1st Class Jessica Bertke, 39th MDG family member relocation coordinator. "You don't need to tell an appointment clerk the specific reason you need to be seen."

In addition to scheduling appointments online, TRICARE Online can be used if something keeps a patient from making or needing a scheduled appointment.

"Sometimes you might make an appointment on a Monday for Wednesday but are feeling better by Tuesday," said Mrs. McNamara. "(With TRICARE Online) you can cancel an appointment online just as easy as making it. You don't have to wait until the appointment line opens."

"Any appointment made online can be cancelled online," added Airman Bertke.

The benefits of TRICARE online are not limited to active-duty members.

"Family members can also enroll and receive a user name and password," said Mrs. McNamara. "In fact, all family members can have the same password as long as their user names are different."

Once a person is registered with TRICARE Online, they don't have to re-register when they move to a new base.

"You just have to register one time," said the medical services coordinator. "The account follows you. You just need to change your location in the system."

Any Incirlik member who forgets their username or password, or is having problems enrolling or accessing their account, can call Airman Bertke at 676-1477 for assistance.



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