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 | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety | 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...

DHA’s Mobile Apps Can Help You with Overall Wellness

Article
9/30/2021
A smartphone user using the DHA's Air Force MissionFit app

Healthcare and wellness apps developed by the DHA are proliferating.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Total Force Fitness

Since 9/11, These 8 Military Medical Advancements are Saving Lives

Article
9/14/2021
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Derek Weida jokes with a physician during his prosthetic leg fitting at a prosthetics clinic in Las Vegas in April 2018.

Years of military conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan brought innovations that completely transformed the Military Health System's approach to combat casualty care. Here's a list of just a few ways military medicine has evolved in the two decades since the 9/11 attacks.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology | MHS Remembers 9/11

Federal leaders highlight electronic health record changes at HIMSS

Article
8/31/2021
Federal leaders being interviewed

The new Federal electronic health record delivers data to healthcare teams wherever a patient receives treatment.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Coronavirus

Ready Reliable Care Framework is Improving MHS Patient Care

Article
8/18/2021
Ready Reliable Care is the Military Health System's framework for ensuring high-quality health care across the force.

The Military Health System's Ready Reliable Care framework helps ensure high-quality health care for all service members, veterans and their families.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology | Readiness Capabilities | Ready Reliable Care | Defense Health Information Technology Symposium | MHS GENESIS

DOD's Whole of Government Approach to COVID is Working, Says Adirim

Article
8/13/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, right, speaks during a panel discussion.

Dr. Terry Adirim, said she has been impressed by the DOD’s COVID-19 response since taking over as ASDHA, and that adaptation and innovation have played key parts in that response.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program | Military Health System Transformation

Revamped Virtual Med Center Makes Health Care Feel Like a Video Game

Article
7/26/2021
Picture of the Virtual Medical Center

The Virtual Medical Center, a joint Department of Defense/VA incentive, is relaunching by the end of summer, leveraging emerging technologies to increase and improve accessibility, convenience, and efficiency of medical care for all registered users.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Research and Innovation

DHA releases App to Support Service Member Recovery

Article
7/26/2021
Infographic for the Antidepressant Adherence app

To ensure that military beneficiaries receive the support they need to continue on their mental wellness journey, the Antidepressant Adherence app supports those taking medication

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Depression | Health Care Technology

Connected Health Hosts First DHA Digital Health Virtual Summit

Article
6/16/2021
Graphic about the DHA Digital Health Virtual Summit

The Defense Health Agency Connected Health branch hosted the inaugural DHA Digital Health Virtual Summit that provided insight on the accelerated world of digital health in the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Defense Health Agency

ADVISOR brings support to medical personnel in austere environments

Article
5/27/2021
Photo of Michael Kile, LPN, the operational readiness program manger

The Military Health System offers the Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces program, or ADVISOR, for remote military medical professionals.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Combat Support | Health Readiness

MHS Service Helpdesk aims to simplify IT management across DHA

Article
5/25/2021
Screenshot of the Help Desk homepage

The MHS Service Helpdesk will replace the MHS’s legacy information technology system, Remedy.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | MHS Service Helpdesk

Nurse and Tech Week: Air Force airmen are battle-tested and ready

Article
5/6/2021
12 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

For the past year, Air Force nurses and medical technicians have found themselves on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Health Care Technology | Nursing in the Military Health System | Mental Health Toolkit | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

MHS’s four tips for patient-centered digital health

Article
5/5/2021
Picture of Robert Ciulla with the words "Four Tips for Patient-Center Digital Health"

The MHS is taking the lead at the enterprise level by expanding existing digital health systems and partnerships and rolling out new ones.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety

IT health care leaders among DOD’s ‘Top 100 Innovators List’ for 2021

Article
4/30/2021
A picture of Pat Flanders, the DHA's chief information officer and deputy assistant director for information operations and Army Maj. Ryan Costantino, data innovation chief for the Program Executive Office

Two Department of Defense innovators and 2021 awardees have created unique bridges between IT and health care.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Ektropy

Projects test new approaches to improve health care quality, outcomes

Article
4/15/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask practicing a spinal rotation technique

Pilots and demonstrations allow TRICARE to develop and test innovative approaches and services.

Recommended Content:

About TRICARE | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety | TRICARE Health Plan | TRICARE 101
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 4
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.