Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

New MHS Video Connect increases convenient access to care for patients

Image of Air Force Lt. Col. John A. DaLomba. Air Force Lt. Col. John A. DaLomba discusses the new MHS Video Connect and what it means for the MHS. (Photo by: Connected Health)

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Care Administration & Operations | MHS Video Connect | Military Hospitals and Clinics

The following article is a first-person account by Air Force Lt. Col. John A. DaLomba, MHS GENESIS Patient Portal and MHS Video Connect solution owner at the Defense Health Agency Health Informatics Branch.

Patient empowerment and active engagement are paramount to improve health care.

The Military Health System's new MHS Video Connect allows patients to meet with their military health provider virtually through live video on any internet-connected device.

MHS Video Connect is an important step forward in providing virtual health capabilities that improve health outcomes and support military readiness. It's convenient, it's secure, and it's easy to use.

Most patients already have the devices to connect with their provider or care team and receive the care they need – without leaving their home or office. This makes virtual appointments easy to schedule and conduct. Additionally, MHS Video Connect helps reduce the time and costs related to medical treatment and travel while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of virtual health.

Open to all active-duty service members, their families, and retirees enrolled in a military medical treatment facility (MTF), this new web-based virtual health platform provides real-time access to care from almost anywhere and works with existing MHS medical processes and electronic health records. All continental United States-based hospitals and clinics expected to have this capability by the end of 2021.

Convenient and Secure

Making an appointment in MHS Video Connect is simple.

Patients can use the tools they currently use contact their assigned MTF's scheduling office or, depending on their facility, do it themselves online. Providers and their staffs must schedule the appointment through the Video Care Manager module of MHS Video Connect as well.

MHS Video Connect
"MHS Video Connect provides real-time access to care from almost anywhere." (Photo by Connected Health)

By clicking a link in a confirmation email that is sent the day the appointment was scheduled, patients can meet with their provider and care team in a secure private video treatment room unique to each appointment. Both patients and providers can add up to five guests to their appointments. This enables family members, loved ones, and medical specialists to be directly involved in supporting the patient and their treatment plan, all through a high-quality video connection.

In the Department of Defense, we have to balance convenience and ease of use with cybersecurity, which is essential to protecting our nation and those who serve it. MHS Video Connect is designed specifically for secure communications for military health care, as opposed to commercial teleconferencing or video teleconferencing platforms made for more general use.

The platform is a modified version of the Department of Veterans Affairs' video virtual health solution - VA Video Connect. We have incorporated additional cybersecurity features and vetting so patients and providers can feel confident that all personal health information transmitted through the system is secure.

Looking Forward

Development of MHS Video Connect began in the fall of 2020 and in March 2021 initial testing took place at nine locations in the continental U.S. and Alaska.

Recently, limited field evaluations have happened at three locations in Europe, one in Japan, and one in South Korea. All results have been promising and while there are some things we need to work on, we are looking forward to deploying MHS Video Connect overseas sooner than later.

Ultimately, the plan is to deploy MHS Video Connect in locations that may not have a provider or dedicated medical team. The goal is to provide care wherever patients are located, in both operational and garrison settings.

Our deployment team receives feedback from the sites using MHS Video Connect, and we optimize the system regularly based on it. We are constantly examining how we can improve MHS Video Connect to better meet patient and provider needs. For example, we identified that the clinical area that uses video virtual health the most is behavioral health, which frequently uses group appointments in treatment. Moving forward, we plan to continue upgrading MHS Video Connect with the capability to host larger group appointments.

Proactive partnerships with our patients and providers are essential for preparing for the next one to five years, when more health care is likely going to be delivered virtually. Many patients won't need to go to an actual building to receive every level of care unless a provider needs to physically examine them, retrieve samples for a lab, or perform some sort of imaging.

The Military Health System is planning for that future to help ensure it meets patients where they are and delivers world-class care as effectively as possible.

You also may be interested in...

MEDCOM Regulation Number 40-54: Medical Services

Policy

This regulation provides a standard process and procedure for surgical and procedural site verification of patients undergoing operative or other invasive procedures. This regulation supersedes MEDCOM Regulation 40-54, 23 Feb 2009.

First Call Resolution and Do Not Call Back Policy

Policy

This policy requires first call resolution for all patients requesting appointments at all Air Force medical treatment facilities. Under this policy, beneficiaries will not be asked to call back for an appointment.

MHS IM-IT Submission Form

Form/Template
5/18/2015

Fill out the MHS IM-IT Submission Form to submit an idea to foster change to an IM/IT capability, policy/process, or system.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations | Health Care Technology

First Call Resolution and Expeditious Reply to Patient Policy

Policy

This policy requires first call resolution for all patients requesting appointments at all National Capital Region Medical Directorate medical treatment facilities. Under this policy, beneficiaries will not be asked to call back for an appointment.

Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care

Report
4/8/2015

This report provides Defense Health Board findings on amputee care and research in the Department of Defense.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Care Technology

First call Resolution and Do Not Call Back Policy

Policy

This Army OTSG/MEDCOM policy identifies responsibilities of MTF commanders, primary care, specialty care and other stakeholders identified in the appointing process to ensure patient satisfaction for our beneficiaries; outlines use of alternative portals such as Army Medicine Secure Messaging, Nurse Advice Line and TRICARE Online; specific procedures are also identified to correctly transfer calls in accordance with existing access to care standards, referral management protocols, and proper use of managing clinic schedules to ensure appointing success the first time one of our patients seeks access.

Credentialing and Privileging Program

Policy

This instruction updates and reissue policy and procedures for the Credentialing and Privileging Program for the Department of the Navy (DON) as part of the DON Clinical Quality Management Program (CQMP).

Air Force Instruction 44-102: Medical Care Management

Policy

This instruction implements Air Force Policy Directive (AFPD) 44-1, Medical Operations, and provides guidance for the organization and delivery of medical care. It implements various publications of Department of Defense (DoD), recognized professional organizations, the Joint Commission (TJC), the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and appropriate health and safety agencies

Evaluation of the TRICARE Program Fiscal Year 2015 Report to Congress

Report
2/28/2015

The Evaluation of the TRICARE Program: Access, Cost, and Quality, Fiscal Year 2015 Report to Congress is provided by the TRICARE Management Activity (TMA)/Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)—Defense Health Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DHCAPE), in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) (OASD/HA).This evaluation report presents results trended over at least the most recent three fiscal years, where programs are mature and data permit. MHS cost, quality, and access data are compared with corresponding comparable civilian benchmarks, such as comparing beneficiary-reported access and experience to results from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), comparing our quality measures to the national expectations and results of the Joint Commission, and comparing healthrisky behavior to Healthy People 2020 objectives.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations | Annual Evaluation of the TRICARE Program

Non-Availability of Patient Appointments at Medical Treatment Facilities

Policy

This policy is to be implemented immediately to ensure patients are not told to call back the next day for an appointment.

Continuing Health Education Update

Presentation
2/11/2015

Continuing Health Education Update presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations

Form Follows Function Pursuing a World Class System for Health

Report
2/1/2015

Form Follows Function: Pursuing a World-Class System for Health

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Care Administration & Operations

MEDCOM Regulation 40-49: Medical Services Surgical Counts

Policy

This regulation provides guidelines for accountability of items used during operative and other invasive procedures (inclusive of minimally invasive procedures) to ensure they are not retained in a patient. This regulation addresses which items will, at a minimum, be counted, as well as when, how, and by whom the surgical count will be performed.

Continuing Health Education Tasking Update

Presentation
11/6/2014

Continuing Health Education Tasking Update presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations

Medical Ethics Subcommittee Update on Dual Loyalties of Medical Providers Tasking

Presentation
11/6/2014

Medical Ethics Subcommittee Update on Dual Loyalties of Medical Providers Tasking presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations
<< < ... 21 22 23 24 25  ... > >> 
Showing results 316 - 330 Page 22 of 26
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 18, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.