All beneficiaries in the Department of Defense have access to their healthcare information in a single place - the TRICARE Online Patient Portal.

The Online Patient Portal, also known as TRICARE Online, gives patients access to their health information including past appointments, lab results and medication lists. The portal also provides the ability to schedule appointments, request medication refills, access the nurse advice line and most importantly, communicate with health care providers and their teams using secure messaging.

Patients do not need to sign up to use the Portal.

"Anyone can access their health record, make appointments, request refills or use the Nurse Advice Line without any sign up," said Lt. Col. Eli Seeley, Regional Health Command Europe chief health information officer. "However, if a patient would like to take advantage of secure messaging, they should contact their primary care manager's office and ask to register."

The portal allows patients 24-hour-a-day access to their health care.

"The great thing about the Online Patient Portal is that it puts all of your health care information at your fingertips," Seeley said. "You no longer have to get in the car and travel to the hospital or clinic to get your information; it belongs to you and is accessible 24 hours a day."

RHCE and Army Medicine want patients to be able to make informed decisions about their health care. The Online Patient Portal makes that achievable.

"The most tangible benefit is that this suite of tools provides the beneficiary with information in order to make informed decisions about their health care," Seeley said. "We implement technology like this to enhance patient engagement. Current research shows that patients who are engaged are better able to manage their health care and spend fewer days sick per year than those who are less engaged."

To get to the Online Patient Portal, visit www.tricareonline.com and select "login." There are three options to access the information - use a Common Access Card, a Department of Defense Self Service login, or a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (MyPay) user name and password.

For more information on the Online Patient Portal, or to register for secure messaging, visit your local clinic or talk to your primary care manager.