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...

Army & Navy providers team up to save soldier’s life

Article
7/6/2020
Military personnel sitting around a table, exhibiting medical items

ECMO is a heart-lung bypass system that circulates blood through an external artificial lung, oxygenates it, and delivers it back into the bloodstream.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology

Virtual Health Patient FAQs

Publication
6/19/2020

Frequently asked questions for patients on the use of virtual health technology to receive health care.

Recommended Content:

Telehealth Program | Health Care Technology

Virtual Health Myth vs Fact

Publication
6/19/2020

Review of the myths and facts on the use of virtual health technology to deliver health care.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program

Virtual Health Provider FAQs

Publication
6/19/2020

Frequently asked questions for health care providers on the use of virtual health technology in clinical practice.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program

Getting Started with Adobe Connect

Publication
4/1/2020

This short Getting Started Guide helps MHS providers begin using Adobe Connect for virtual health care encounters with patients.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

Adobe Connect Guidance for Patients

Publication
4/1/2020

A brief guide for MHS beneficiaries on best practices in using Adobe Connect for virtual health care visits with their provider.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

Adobe Connect Tip Sheet

Publication
4/1/2020

Tip sheet to aid providers in troubleshooting technical issues and creating a supportive clinical environment in Adobe Connect.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

Health Technologies for Service Members and Families

Publication
3/23/2020

This reference guide provides a brief overview of the most helpful apps for health developed by the DoD and VA.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps

Health Technologies for Patients

Publication
3/23/2020

This reference chart provides a cross-reference for health issues and the DoD mobile apps that support them.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps

Prescription for Connected Health Rx Pad

Publication
3/23/2020

This prescription pad gives health care providers a simple tool allowing them to "prescribe" mobile health technology to their patients.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps

Prescription for Connected Health Rx Pad

Publication
3/18/2020

This prescription pad gives health care providers a simple tool allowing them to "prescribe" mobile health technology to their patients.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Total Force Fitness

Health Technologies for Service Members and Families 2020

Publication
3/18/2020

This reference guide provides a brief overview of the most helpful apps for health developed by the DoD and VA.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Total Force Fitness

Health Technologies for Patients 2020

Publication
3/18/2020

This chart gives health care providers a quick overview of the health conditions supported by the currently available DoD mobile applications for health.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Total Force Fitness

Department Of Defense Health Affairs Media Roundtable Announcement of NDAA 2017, Section 703(d) Report to Congress

Congressional Testimony
2/19/2020

Thomas McCaffery, Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Health Affairs; Dr. David Smith, Reform Leader For Health Care Management; and Lieutenant General Ronald Place, Director, Defense Health Agency, participated in a Health Affairs Media Roundtable following the announcement that the NDAA 2017, Section 703(d) Report was submitted to Congress.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Military Health System Transformation

Robinson Army Health Clinic (TMC ROBINSON-CARSON) Vol 2

Report
2/18/2020

The table below summarizes the findings and data informing the decision on the future of the Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF).

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 106 - 120 Page 8 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.