Systems help keep patients in touch with healthcare providers

There are many recent innovations within the Army Medical System that can help you and your family find care when needed.

As everyone knows, people don’t always get sick just when their primary care clinic is open. Also, you would most likely rather not go to the emergency room and sit next to really sick people if you don’t need to.

So, what’s the best way to get care when you need it?

The Nurse Advice Line offers a single, known point for all TRICARE beneficiaries to access clinical advice and health information. It is designed to provide you with quick access to healthcare advice, increase patient satisfaction with TRICARE benefits and, when appropriate, redirect you to the direct care system.

Additionally, if the nurse recommends that the caller see a provider, then appointing services will be offered.

“The nurses on the line will ask patients a series of questions about their specific health concern, and advise if self-care at home is adequate or if they need to see a healthcare provider,” said Capt. Ryan Schiel, chief of the managed care division at Lyster.

The TRICARE Nurse Advice Line can be accessed by calling 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273) and selecting option No. 1 for urgent healthcare questions. Patients calling the LAHC main line at 255-7000 can select option No. 3 to be connected to the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line.

“Lyster also offers two wonderful programs to enable you to communicate with your provider easily and in a secure manner: RelayHealth and signing up for TRICARE Online,” said Schiel.

Patients with non-urgent questions can use Relay Health’s Secure Messaging Service to e-mail their doctor.

Secure Messaging allows you to directly contact your health care team through the Web. You can initiate a web visit consultation, receive preventive care reminders, send a note to the provider’s office, request test results, ask for prescription renewals, and ask questions of your provider and care team.

The turnaround time for an e-mail response is usually 24 hours. To sign up for Relay Health, visit and click Register.

TRICARE Online allows you to view, schedule or cancel a primary care appointment and select self-referral appointments for you or your family members; set email or text message appointment reminders for you or your family members; view, download or share your Blue Button Personal Health Data; and check the status of or order prescription refills for you or your family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

TRICARE Online also securely links you and your family to consolidated healthcare services, and provides you with information about treatment received at a military hospital or clinic. To use TRICARE Online, make an account using either a Department of Defense Self-service Logon or a Defense Finance and Accounting Service MyPay account. Both can be used at home. Visit for simple, step by step instructions.

“We truly hope our patients find these services to be beneficial, giving them an easier way to access their health,” said Schiel.

By Jenny Stripling, Lyster Public Affairs officer Originally published October 21, 2015

Reprinted with permission