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

Applying COVID-19 innovations to the future of MHS medicine

Virtual health visits are expanding in response to COVID-19. Virtual health visits are expanding in response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation

“I would do anything to help my patients” and “I look forward to business as usual after COVID-19” – declarations many Military Health System providers worldwide would wholeheartedly agree with during the coronavirus pandemic. We give our best every day to ensure infected and non-infected alike get the treatment they need.

As we envision health care in a post-pandemic world, we can’t ignore that COVID-19 has already irrevocably changed how we deliver care and will continue to do so. We must use the terrible clarity these unprecedented circumstances provide to honestly evaluate our tools and practices, and apply that wisdom to make real, lasting improvements to health care.

This mindset of embracing innovation for the sake of our patients is already a hallmark of MHS providers. We find creative, clinically sound ways to treat our patients no matter the obstacle.

We are also in a prime position to lead by example in keeping the best of what we’re learning during COVID-19. The MHS is one of the largest health care systems in the world and has the tools, experience, logistical capacity and operational flexibility to do what many other health systems cannot. Our experience with global, 24/7, life-and-death medical crises means we can lead in innovation when it’s most needed.

A MHS health care provider holds a virtual health visit with a patient.
A MHS health care provider holds a virtual health visit with a patient. 

Case in Point: Virtual Health

One way MHS providers can start adopting innovative practices right now during COVID-19 is through virtual health, also known as telehealth or telemedicine. The MHS offers ready-to-use virtual health capabilities that are effective, secure, accessible and compliant. In fact, the MHS Virtual Medical Center (VMC) has rapidly expanded scalable virtual health tools for military patients and medical personnel across the Services to ensure continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The VMC serves as a hub for virtual health, enabling medical personnel in the field to connect with patients. It provides operational experience in delivering care around the world, working across international time zones, specialties and military service branches to get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. The VMC is uniquely prepared to help providers and patients understand and use virtual health.

Working with the VMC allows providers to hit the ground running with tested tools and easy access to subject matter experts and training. The VMC workflows also efficiently connect providers with patients. Once they use virtual health, many providers find that they can do many appointments through a virtual health platform, with greater convenience and satisfaction for both them and their patients.

Extensive Resources

The resources available right now for incorporating virtual health into your practice include:

  • The VMC: Any MHS provider or care team can request access to military virtual health platforms by accessing the VMC SharePoint site.
  • Telemedicine Privileging:It is permissible for most MHS providers (to include personal services contract providers) to virtually care for patients located in a different state during COVID-19. Virtual care can occur outside a military medical treatment facility (MTF), such as at a patient’s home. A unique advantage for military medical personnel is that you can both be credentialed at your local facility and have privileges at the VMC. This pairing enables you to virtually access patients and their electronic health records at any MTF worldwide, a huge force multiplier.
  • Your local MTF: Talk to your local MTF virtual health point of contact. If your MTF does not have one yet, the VMC can connect you to experts.
  • ADVISOR Help Line: The Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces system, or ADVISOR, provides on-demand telephone and secure video consultations with specialty providers during emergencies. Originally designed for field personnel, ADVISOR now enables any MTF to get 24/7 live help with COVID-19 cases. Operators route calls to on-call MHS providers with operational experience in:
  • Infectious disease (pediatric/adult)
  • Palliative care
  • Critical care (pediatric/adult)

Remembering for the Future

Virtual health is undeniably different from traditional practice and can take getting used to. The technological, logistical and even cultural hurdles we encounter in adopting it – or any new practice born of crisis – are worth overcoming to help ensure patients receive the care they need anytime, anywhere.

That is especially important to remember once things return to “the new normal.” One of the biggest mistakes we can make when a crisis abates is to forget why we needed to change in the first place, and to think that those changes applied just to that situation instead of informing our practice going forward.

Virtual health is going to be part of that future, to the point that in five years, we won’t be saying virtual health or telemedicine, just -- medicine.

We need to learn from our COVID-19 experience and change our tools, processes and workflows as needed so we are better prepared for all world-changing incidents, not just the next pandemic. If we do, we will show that when we say “we’ll do anything for our patients,” we really mean it.

You also may be interested in...

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Mental Health Awareness Month | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

May Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Join Us!! Sixth Live COVID-19 Town Hall

Article
5/12/2021
Image describing today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD.  They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Join us for today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD. They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 26

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.