Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Image of Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens . Virtual health exercise at Madigan Army Medical Center. (U.S. Army photo)

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center continues to develop technology that increases medical capabilities and provides rapid, flexible critical care expertise at the point of need.

During a recent Medical Museum Science Café, held virtually by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, TATRC director Army Col. Jeremy Pamplin described the implementation of the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) and how telemedicine can improve outcomes for disaster response.

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions. Clinicians discovered how telemedicine can enhance communication efforts, reduce exposure and personal protective equipment consumption, improve efficiency and quality of care, increase access to specialty services, and in some cases lower costs and optimize the use of resources.

However, as Pamplin mentioned, the findings fluctuated due to the complex nature of the U.S. health system, which is an intricate mix of local, state, and federal policies and diverse expectations, cultures, and belief systems. For example, the implementation of telehealth may improve outcomes for one organization, whereas the same implementation elsewhere may not.

Pamplin described how he and his colleagues studied the implementation of telemedicine in a military environment.

“Telemedicine in the military has consistently enabled military clinicians around the world to work beyond their typical scope of practice while deployed in austere, resource limited environments by providing reach-back capability to military experts working in referral centers across the globe,” he said.

Pamplin then looked at the potential use of a telecritical health system for large-scale military operations. According to Pamplin, telehealth technology could be adapted to a variety of care contexts including large-scale combat situations or natural disasters that rely on military aid.

Partnering with the civilian sector, Pamplin and his colleagues developed NETCCN, a telehealth system that could consolidate telehealth networks and manage a high patient capacity during an emergency or a national crisis.

When COVID-19 emerged, Pamplin and his team began the implementation of NETCCN to help respond to the current stressed health care system. According to Pamplin, the network brings remote critical care expertise to the point of care, providing e-consult support, remote home monitoring, relief coverage, tiered staffing, and specialty services.

“The NETCCN addresses the lack of critical care clinicians across our nation by shifting these resources where and when needed,” Pamplin said. “In a dynamic, flexible fashion, NETCC links remote expertise to frontline providers, often working beyond their scope of training, using secure, HIPAA compliant applications on mobile devices, thus bypassing the lengthy process of purchasing and installing expensive hardware packages.

Said Andrea Schierkolk, NMHM’s public programs manager: “TATRC’s efforts to address the benefits and challenges of telemedicine were put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic, and documenting these innovations in military medicine contributes to NMHM’s mission to share the value of the nation’s investment in programs like those of TATRC.”

For more information on TATRC and its initiatives, please visit at www.tatrc.org

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
Dec 12, 2023

Collaboration Leads to Innovation: Joint Inpatient Dialysis Center Opens at Womack Army Medical Center

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Womack Army Medical Center signifying the official opening of the Joint Inpatient Dialysis Center. U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Lance Raney, U.S. Army Col. David Zinnante and Marri Fryar cut the ribbon with team members who were dedicated to make the initiative work. Tiffany Wise, retired U.S. Army Maj. Santwon Walker, U.S. Army Col. David De Blasio, Dr. Manpreet Bhutani, Dr. Dinesh Chandra and U.S. Army Maj. Robert Gaeta. (Keisha Frith/Department of Defense)

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Womack Army Medical Center, signifying the official opening of the Joint Inpatient Dialysis Center on Dec. 1, 2023. This collaborative effort between WAMC and Fayetteville North Carolina Veterans Administration Health Care System began in 2018 and came to fruition on June 9, 2023.

Article Around MHS
Dec 4, 2023

Fort Campbell Soldiers' Innovation Helps Extremities Rehab for Injured Service Members

Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Readiness Command, East, and Director, Defense Health Network East U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Lance Raney tests a simulated M-4 rifle charging handle that attaches to a strength-training machine to simulate real-life tasks for soldiers recovering from traumatic hand and upper extremity injuries. (Photo by Maria Christina Yager/Blanchfield Army Community Hospital)

A simulated M-4 rifle charging handle fashioned by an occupational therapy team at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and refined by Fort Campbell’s EagleWerx Applied Tactical Innovation Center may gain broader use in other military hospitals and clinics after a senior Defense Health Agency official saw it demonstrated.

Article Around MHS
Nov 9, 2023

Behind the Scenes of Military Medicine

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kendra Ward, 6th Medical Support Squadron X-ray and CT scan technologist, works with Dr. Paul Velt, assigned to the 6th MDSS at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Sept. 2023. Ward has been recognized for providing radiologic imaging for 265,000 beneficiaries, managing a $3.5 million archival system for eight telehealth sites across the Department of Defense, all while training students to operate a $2 million computed tomography machine. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Charged with providing radiologic imaging for 265,000 beneficiaries, managing a $3.5 million archival system for eight telehealth sites across the Department of Defense, all while training students to operate a $2 million computed tomography machine, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kendra Ward is no stranger to the fast-paced world of military health care.

Article Around MHS
Oct 4, 2023

Stemming the Tide: Navy Medicine and the Egyptian Cholera Epidemic of 1947

Over three months, cholera spread across 2,270 towns and villages in Egypt killing over half of its victims. According to one estimate over 20,000 Egyptians died of cholera. (Graphic by Andre Sobocinski)

On September 21, 1947, a man was admitted to the Al-Qurayn (El Korein) Hospital in Egypt vomiting profusely and suffering severe diarrhea. Within hours, he was dead. The attending physician on duty first suspected food poisoning before 11 additional patients were admitted with identical symptoms. Their diagnosis was cholera, a deadly bacterial disease ...

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery