Air Force Web-Based Health Assessment used for Air Force Periodic Health Assessments (PHA)
By Capt. Paul Schroth and Master Sgt. Dennis McGorty, 17th Medical Operations Squadron
/ Published January 16, 2007
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The Air Force is once again leveraging technology as a means of ensuring a medically ready fighting force. An important part of medical readiness is the Periodic Health Assessment, which every Airman must complete once a year. In the past this has involved a visit to the clinic and an interview with a medical technician. If any new health problems were identified during the interview, then an appointment would be scheduled with a health care provider. While critically important, this process has always been costly in terms of the man-hours required for both the medical technician and the Airman, especially since most interviews did not result in the need for a visit with a provider. Advances in technology are now allowing us to accomplish the same things, but without a visit to the clinic.
The interview, which began August 1, will be accomplished through a secure web site, which every Airman will be able to access from any computer with internet access - at work, at home, or even when deployed. Medical technicians at the clinic will review the web-based interview results; and if problems are identified which require medical attention, the technician will contact the Airman to schedule an appointment with a medical provider. This will also allow the clinic to more efficiently tailor their care to the specific needs of the Airman.
The process will begin when the individual receives an email from defenserack.com with the subject: "PHA Self Report Health Assessment". You will have 14 days to complete the assessment from the time you receive the email. After following a link which will be provided in this email, the individual will enter a secure website. After confirming some administrative information they will then be prompted to answer health questions, which are the same questions which were asked in the past by the med techs. When the individual completes the process you will be able to generate a report for themselves. A similar report will be generated by your health care team and placed in your medical record.
This is a very flexible website which will allow you to start and stop the questionnaire as many times as you need to. The whole process will take only 17 to 20 minutes. Upon reentering the site you will be able to pick up the questions where you left off, and will not have to start over. If you do not receive a return email or telephone call from the clinic then your PHA is over.
It is also important to note again that this is a secure website, and your personal medical information will be protected with the same level of security and privacy which the clinic now provides. Using this system the Air Force will continue to maintain its high state of medical readiness while saving the thousands of man-hours previously required for this process.