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A Case Study on TRICARE Online Web-enabled Appointing: Improving Utilization Rates at Navy Medical Treatment Facilities
NATIONAL NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER BETHESDA MD
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In an effort to leverage emerging technology and address the growing beneficiary demand for online healthcare transactions, the Department of Defense DoD introduced TRICARE Online TOL. The anticipated benefits included greater access to care, enhanced patient satisfaction, increased control of scheduling, and reduced operating costs TRICARE Management Activity, 2006. In reality, across the board realization of benefits never materialized. Each user, regardless of service affiliation or Medical Treatment Facility MTF assignment, endures similar frustrations when navigating TOL features therefore, problems associated with system-user interface fail to answer why variations in enrollment and utilization rates exist among the services. This study follows an explanatory structure to identify key drivers of poor TOL utilization among Navy MTF beneficiaries when compared to those of Army and Air Force and recommends two courses of action based on observed best practices. These recommendations include the implementation of an enterprise-wide TOL Policy mandating the online booking of a set percentage of all Primary Care appointments and active support of TOL policy by senior Navy healthcare executives through applicable and effective promotional and training initiatives.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE