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...

Accelerating Digital Health Across the MHS

Video
3/22/2022
Accelerating Digital Health Across the MHS

Across the Military Health System, we are partnering together to leverage digital health wherever we can – to keep our patients at the center of everything we do.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Mobile Apps

MHS Video Connect Testimonial

Video
1/6/2022
MHS Video Connect Testimonial

The Military Health System is introducing MHS Video Connect. Listen to what providers and patients are saying about the new convenient way to access your military care team through secure, live video.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect

MHS Video Connect Provider Tips

Video
1/6/2022
MHS Video Connect Provider Tips

This video has some tips to help providers easily use MHS Video Connect – the new, convenient way to see your patients through secure, live video.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect

MHS Video Connect Patient Tips

Video
1/6/2022
MHS Video Connect Patient Tips

This video has some tips to help patients easily use MHS Video Connect – the new, convenient way to see your military health care provider through secure, live video.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect

MHS Video Connect Patient Demo

Video
1/6/2022
MHS Video Connect Patient Demo

MHS Video Connect provides convenient access to your military provider through secure, live video. This video will show you how it works.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect

MHS Video Connect Introduction

Video
1/6/2022
MHS Video Connect Introduction

The Military Health System is introducing MHS Video Connect. It provides convenient access to your military provider through secure, live video.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect

Get to Know DHA Connected Health

Video
7/10/2020
Get to Know DHA Connected Health

Learn about how the Defense Health Agency's Connected Health branch is meeting the needs of the Military Health System clinical communities by increasing readiness through the use of digital health technology.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Connected Health Provider Training

Video
4/4/2018
Connected Health Provider Training

Get insight into how the DHA Connected Health provider training program helps health care professionals leverage the power of mobile health technology in their clinical practice.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

USNS Mercy: Deployable Medical Center

Video
4/11/2017
USNS Mercy: Deployable Medical Center

U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners explain the mission of the USNS Mercy and its capabilities.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Administration & Operations

Why do you want to be a military doctor?

Video
3/30/2017
Why do you want to be a military doctor?

During the 2017 Military Health System Female Physician Leadership Conference, we asked some military medical students and junior officers to share why they want to be a military medical doctor.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations | Health Care Administration & Operations | Military Hospitals and Clinics
Showing results 1 - 10 Page 1 of 1
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.