Skip to main content

Military Health System

MHS Video Connect Offers Convenience, Efficiencies for Providers

Image of . Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ryan Brennan, chief of neurological surgery, and deputy chief of the Department of Virtual Health at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Recommended Content:

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

The following article is a first-person account by Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ryan Brennan, chief of neurological surgery and deputy chief of the Department of Virtual Health at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

Virtual health is not only well-established within the medical community, but it will also continue to expand and improve how providers deliver quality care.

As a neurosurgeon with the Military Health System, my goal is to provide our beneficiaries with the best possible care.

So – in this era of a global pandemic, how do we leverage technology to continue providing that world-class care and maintain medical readiness?

For the MHS, we integrate virtual health systems – specifically the new telehealth platform – MHS Video Connect. Although new to the MHS, this platform isn't new – a similar program is also used within the VA.

This platform enables patients and providers from all specialties to reach one another regardless of location.

An example of our impact and success in virtual health is the Alaska care initiatives that are saving up to tens of thousands of dollars per patient in temporary duty travel costs, lost time at work, and ultimately lost mission days.

With MHS Video Connect, I am able to complete a patient encounter in the morning and virtually screen the patient for surgical needs. The patient is then able to return to his or her duties or training immediately. In some cases, there is no longer a need for a face-to-face encounter that results in time away from their jobs, travel expenses, and potential safety risks. Eliminating these factors directly serves the MHS mission and helps to maintain a medically ready force./p>

During this pandemic, our neurosurgery team increased our service productivity by 119% from March 2020 through June 2020 when we transitioned to virtual health (both over video and telephone) to facilitate patient visits.

This switch also led to a decrease in patient referral processing times and an increase in patient satisfaction. Furthermore, we ensured that patients with truly critical needs did not see delays in care or diagnosis due to long waits imposed by face-to-face visit limits from COVID-19 restrictions. By having access to MHS providers, our beneficiaries can receive the world-class care they deserve.

Our productivity increased by 119% when we transitioned to virtual health.
"Our productivity increased by 119% when we transitioned to virtual health." (Photo by Connected Health) 

Secure and Convenient

So – why the move to MHS Video Connect?

Early in the pandemic, health care systems across the world struggled to balance providing care with having face-to-face patient engagements.

Within the MHS, virtual health options authorized and employed early in the pandemic had technical limitations, including unnecessary security risks, and incompatible with patients' web browsers or devices.

MHS Video Connect eliminates these issues, and facilitates a much more streamlined process.

Through a few simple clicks, the provider and patient 'enter' their own secure, private virtual treatment room. MHS Video Connect provides real-time access to care, from almost anywhere with internet access, and it works with existing MHS medical processes and electronic health records.

Virtual health also offers providers more control in their day-to-day lives — and that is always something we like. As a provider, I can now determine when I want to see someone virtually. For example, I can see patients without the challenges of clinic delays due to traffic or limitations in our physical space. It has also offered me the opportunity to see, and treat patients on a schedule that is convenient for me.

One of the biggest advantages to providers is that virtual health remains a moldable medium. It can be adapted to fit your practice and convenience needs in nearly endless ways.

Patients have shared with me that they love the simple and easy access to their doctors without the potential hassle of taking time off work, scheduling child care, traveling to the clinic and then sitting in waiting rooms.

MHS Video Connect is easy, intuitive, and does not take much to learn. Once you are on it, you may find that it is something you enjoy doing.

Saving Money, Resources, and Lives

MHS Video Connect's advantages extend beyond improved readiness, access, and convenience. Using the system also yields huge cost savings and increased efficiency in the use and expenditure of finite resources.

For our patients in Alaska, the cost of temporary duty travel to our medical center can be costly and often runs between $25,000 and $50,000. Every virtual visit that determines that a patient does not need to travel may save up to $1,500 a day, per visit.

Virtual health may also have significant, but less easily quantified, value through a reduction in productivity loss, reduced number of duty days lost to travel to appointments, and provides an overall improvement in mission readiness. Taken together, these factors directly serve the MHS mission of creating a medically ready force.

Using MHS Video Connect may also alleviate some of the resource constraints that we have in clinic. When we are limited in both physical space and personal protective equipment, the platform allows us to facilitate greater numbers of patient visits in a single day. While I am doing a virtual visit, my colleagues can see patients physically in clinic, which can immediately double the number of patients our clinic can treat in a day.

By increasing the number of visits available in a day, we are also able to radically reduce the overall time it takes patients to access care. This increase in access is critically important during these challenging times.

Additionally, managing the number of beneficiaries physically entering the clinic is essential to keeping providers, care teams, and patients safe. Increasing virtual appointments helps to reduce foot traffic and reduces unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and other pathogens.

Investment in the Future

One of the things that became clear from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was that virtual health is rapidly becoming an integral part of maintaining a functioning medical service. Given its popularity with providers and patients alike, virtual health is something that is here to stay.

Providers should be open-minded and embrace virtual health — and MHS Video Connect in particular — because it is such a great avenue for facilitating patient care. With anything new, of course, there may be growing pains and a learning process. But my experience with virtual health and MHS Video Connect is that they have made things easier for me and my staff. I think most providers will find that once they begin the process of using virtual health, both they and their patients will appreciate the investment going forward.

You also may be interested in...

Month of the Military Child 2021 Infographic

Publication
3/30/2021

This infographic from the Military Kids Connect program supports Month of the Military Child 2021 and promotes the theme Celebrating the Mighty.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps

Patient Safety Awareness Week 2021 Highlights Role of Technology

Article
3/12/2021
A graphic with the words "Patient Safety Awareness Week 2021 March 14-20

Patient Safety Awareness Week brings awareness to health care safety and promotes patient safety practices.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | Health Care Technology | Patient Safety Awards Program | Patient Safety Awareness Week | HRO Awards - Previous Winners | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness | Patient Safety Awareness Week

Health Technologies for Service Members and Families

Publication
3/8/2021

This guide from the Connected Health Branch provides a brief overview to service members and military families on the digital health tools available to support them.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

Health Technologies for Patients

Publication
3/8/2021

This chart from the Connected Health Branch gives health care providers an easy reference to identify digital health tools to support MHS beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

Guide to Digital Health Technology

Publication
3/8/2021

This guide from the Connected Health Branch provides a brief overview of digital health technology available from the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

Prescription for Connected Health Interactive

Publication
3/8/2021

This interactive prescription sheet from the Connected Health Branch enables providers to recommend MHS digital health technology to their patients.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program

NMCSD launches MHS GENESIS

Article
3/2/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask standing in front of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego cutting a red ribbon

Naval Medical Center San Diego deploys MHS GENESIS over the weekend.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS: The Electronic Health Record | Health Care Technology | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Key Themes in Digital Ethics

Fact Sheet
2/16/2021

This fact sheet provides an overview of key themes in ethics related to the use of digital health in clinical practice.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps

Mobile Health Device Privacy and Security

Fact Sheet
2/16/2021

Tips and techniques for maintaining privacy and security of health information stored on mobile devices.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps

Migration of MTF websites to TRICARE.mil complete

Article
2/12/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks, sitting at a desk and typing on laptops

The goal is providing facility personnel and MTF recipients with a comprehensive source of information in an easily accessible, centralized location.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

DHA IT helps beneficiaries, providers and workforce through pandemic

Article
2/12/2021
Several military personnel, wearing masks, filling out paperwork. One woman is giving the thumbs up sign

DHA IT Teams Deliver Innovative Solutions During Pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Innovative mobile technologies impact DOD health surveillance

Article
2/2/2021
Medical personnel using a syringe to inject a fluid into a test tube

Early detection of infectious diseases in the field to protect the troops.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology

Solution Delivery Division

Fact Sheet
1/21/2021

The mission of Solution Delivery Division (SDD) is enhancing Health Service Delivery through exceptional Information and Technology.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health

Article
1/14/2021
Image of Mr. Adler with text: "Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health."

Jamie Adler, the lead for the DHA’s Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office, discusses the future of virtual health (VH).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Article
1/5/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research and Innovation | | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 25
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 14, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery