Skip to main content

Military Health System

ADVISOR brings support to medical personnel in austere environments

Image of Photo of Michael Kile, LPN, the operational readiness program manger. ADVISOR provides support to medical personnel in remote operating locations (Courtesy of DHA Connected Health).

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support

U.S. military medical personnel often serve in remote operating locations with limited external communications and often a sparse health care infrastructure. Traditional land-line phones remain their primary connection to the outside world.

When these highly trained clinicians encounter medical emergencies beyond their considerable skills and local resources, having experts on the other end of the line to guide them can vastly improve outcomes for forward-deployed patients. Providing a single point of contact makes it easier for those frontline personnel to get the immediate assistance they need, which is why the Military Health System offers the Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces program, or ADVISOR.

The only program of its type across the Department of Defense, ADVISOR provides global on-demand access to a full spectrum of medical tele-consultation services for emergent and urgent care. ADVISOR also delivers those services 24/7/365 in austere environments that have limited to no local specialty support.

Field medical personnel anywhere in the world can call one phone number – 1-833-ADVSRLN (1-833-238-7756 or DSN 312-429-9089) – and get immediate live help in 13 different medical specialties, from emergency care and critical care, to infectious diseases and toxicology.

Think of ADVISOR as a "phone-a-friend" capability that connects field medical personnel with the MHS' best experts for when medical situations require assistance far from home – similar in spirit to NASA's Mission Control. Field personnel are not on the Moon, but handling a medical crisis in faraway, resource-constrained locations can feel that way.

Imagine being hundreds of miles from the nearest medical facility and having to answer the question, "I have two intravenous saline bags, three bandages, and a lollipop stick from last night's Meals Ready to Eat – how do I keep this patient alive until the chopper comes?"

With ADVISOR, field medics get real-time access to capabilities they otherwise lack and guidance on improvising care using whatever resources are at hand – huge confidence and capability boosters that can make a life-or-death difference for patients.

Goal: 100 percent survival

ADVISOR aims to provide the same level of clinical accuracy as in-facility care and achieve a 100% survivability rate of casualties with potentially survivable wounds. The program enables virtual access to advanced monitoring and decision support systems to improve remote casualty location, triage, and treatment for:

  • Emergent care, including combat casualty care, advanced critical care, and prolonged care when evacuation is delayed
  • Urgent care, including specialty and emergency care consults and remote medical and behavioral health diagnosis and treatment
  • Routine care by connecting field medics to the MHS' Global Teleconsultation Portal system

ADVISOR's integrated, interoperable system works across all DOD platforms and networks and flexibly scales to whatever technology resources field clinicians have available, from text message to video. At all times, callers can reach two staff providers for each specialty, who have both operational and virtual health experience.

ADVISOR currently has 127 volunteer providers from all three services, many of whom are chiefs of departments at their respective medical institutions. Providers commit to helping service members solve problems in the field based on real-time conditions, resources, and challenges on the ground.

Hundreds of Consultations

ADVISOR started in June 2017 as a pilot program for Special Operations Forces. Since then, it has supported clinicians throughout all combatant commands, as well as from NATO and other partners in multi-national operations.

To date, ADVISOR has provided 322 real-world emergent care or urgent care consultations, mostly in emergency care and infectious disease cases. Additionally, ADVISOR has been a valuable resource for garrison care as a centralized consultation line, supporting smaller military hospitals and clinics lacking onsite specialty capabilities.

ADVISOR has also aided pre-deployment training to help increase field clinicians' skills in prolonged field care and delayed evacuation care. Additionally, the program has provided 427 training consultations across all military branches, predominantly in critical care and general surgery.

User feedback for ADVISOR has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 90% of those surveyed said ADVISOR was easy to access, and the quality of their remote consultant's recommendations were above average or exceptional.

COVID-19 Response

ADVISOR's capabilities became profoundly useful in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the globe in March 2020. All U.S.-based MHS medical treatment facilities faced an unprecedented surge in cases while enforcing distancing requirements to keep patients and providers safe. These constraints limited providers' ability to evacuate many patients to higher-level care and made ensuring continuity of care and high-quality outcomes more challenging.

To help MHS clinicians, ADVISOR immediately reworked its workflows to provide on-demand COVID-19-related services for pediatric and adult critical care, infectious disease, and palliative care to all military hospitals and clinics. ADVISOR continues to contribute to the MHS' five-tier COVID-19 response plan, which supports virtual health throughout the enterprise from a foundation of telephone-based communication all the way up to tele-critical care.

Looking Forward

Offering access to capabilities across the MHS anytime, anywhere by phone and other electronic means is a dream MHS providers have had for decades. For instance, when I was chief wardmaster of the 47th Combat Support Hospital at the former Fort Lewis in Washington state, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I brought a copy of Madigan Army Medical Center's phone book with me on every deployment. ADVISOR helps fulfill that dream and is a successful example of virtual health technology solutions that make it easy to deliver more capability wherever and whenever needed.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated demand for such solutions, which will be a permanent and growing part of the health care landscape going forward. This ongoing evolution will in turn improve operational readiness while decreasing the costs and complexities of care delivery.

Through ADVISOR and other virtual health programs, the MHS can leverage the capabilities of the largest health care system in the world to improve the readiness, health, and well-being of all MHS beneficiaries.

You also may be interested in...

Could a Therapy Dog Help with Your Dental Anxiety?

Article
6/2/2022
Air Force Brig. Gen. Goldie, a facility therapy dog at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, helps reduce anxiety in a patient with complex dental conditions that require multiple appointments. The use of therapy dogs is part of an ongoing study with these patients.

A first-of-its-kind study at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is researching whether using facility therapy dogs in dentists’ offices could reduce patient anxiety and improve outcomes for military dental treatment programs.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

Tips for Military Parents Planning PCS Moves with Children

Article
6/2/2022
Moving can be hard on military families, especially on children. Moving to a new home, going to a new school, finding new friends – it can be unsettling for kids of any age. Yet there are things that service members can do to prepare for a permanent change of station move that can make for a smoother transition for the children.

Moving can be hard on military families, especially on children. Moving to a new home, going to a new school, finding new friends – it can be unsettling for kids of any age. Yet, there are things that service members can do to prepare for a permanent change of station move that can make for a smoother transition for the children.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

Corneal Collagen Cross Linking in the Military a Game Changer

Article
5/27/2022
Corneal collagen cross-linking, known as CXL, the first and only treatment to date that is proven to stop Keratoconus, KCN, progression.

Corneal collagen cross-linking, known as CXL, the first and only treatment to date that is proven to stop Keratoconus, KCN, progression.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Facility Dogs Play a Vital Role in Recovery for Patients Across the MHS

Article
5/27/2022
Luke is a German Shephard facility dog.

Each dog has his or her own rank, service, and uniform and is inducted in an enlistment or commissioning ceremony. Today, the Facility Dog Program at WRNMMC includes Sully, a yellow Lab who was former President George H.W. Bush’s service dog.

Recommended Content:

Our History | Health Readiness & Combat Support

After Leading Through the Pandemic, TRICARE Pharmacy Chief Retires

Article
5/27/2022
Pharmacy Services

How COVID-driven changes are improving the TRICARE Pharmacy System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Technology

How Health Care Providers Can Mitigate Burnout

Article
5/25/2022
U.S. Army Soldiers load a simulated patient on to a New Jersey National Guard UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during a combat lifesaver course run by the Medical Simulation Training Center on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, April 14, 2022.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

“No one is immune to burnout. Healthcare providers are very good at rescuing others. We train for it and practice it daily. Unfortunately, we often do so at the expense of our own health and wellness.”

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Feeling Burned Out at Work? Here Are Some Tips to Feel Better

Article
5/24/2022
Feeling burned out? Tips to understand and avoid burnout.

The good news is that burnout can be mitigated. There are numerous steps that individuals and leaders can take to reduce burnout and its impact.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support

How MHS Video Connect Improves Mission Effectiveness and Care Quality

Article
5/18/2022
Army Lt. Col (Dr.) Robert Cornfeld explains how MHS Video Connect's convenient, secure, and easy-to-use virtual video visit capability helps providers keep patients on mission and improves engagement with them, directly leading to better health outcomes.

Open to all active duty service members, retirees, and their families enrolled in a military hospital or clinic, MHS Video Connect empowers patients to meet with their military health provider virtually through live video on any internet-connected computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Recommended Content:

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

Iraq Bomb Attack Led Soldier to Pursue Medical Career

Article
5/12/2022
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Maxwell (Left) and U.S. Capt. Brian Ahern, medical personnel assigned to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recovery team, check the pulse of a local villager during excavation operations in the Houaphan province, Laos, Feb. 5, 2019.

Treating wounded soldiers for the first time was a life-changing experience for this enlisted medic.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

DHA Director Outlines Vision for Health Care Readiness at HIMSS

Article
4/11/2022
Army Lt. General (Dr.) Ron Place during his speech at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference held in Orlando, Florida, March 2022. Place’s speech detailed his thoughts on solutions to military health care readiness. (Photo: Claire Reznicek, MHS Communications)

During his speech at HIMSS, Lt. Gen. Place discusses clear and present dangers to military medical care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Dr. Jay Montgomery Details Importance of the Immunization Healthcare Division

Article
4/8/2022
Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for DHA’s Immunization Healthcare Division. In addition to being a clinician and educator, he also volunteers with Wounded Warriors to design, build and fly radio controlled helicopters. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for the Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Healthcare Division’s North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub. In his role, Montgomery helps address vaccine and immunization questions and concerns.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare Division | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

The New Public Health Director Talks about His Goals for Force Readiness

Article
4/5/2022
Rear Admiral Brandon Taylor of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in dress whites at the 2019 National Independence Day Parade where he represented the U.S. Surgeon General as a presiding official with the other services. Taylor was named in February as the new director of the Defense Health Agency’s Public Health directorate. (Photo: Tanisha Blaise, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division senior public relations and media specialist)

Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor was recently appointed to be the new director for the Defense Health Agency’s Public Health directorate. In an interview, he discussed how he is approaching his new role, his goals for Public Health within DHA, and the importance of Public Health to a medically ready force and a ready medical force.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Military Health System Transformation

New App Addresses Service Women's Health Care Needs

Article
4/1/2022
Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen, one-stop resource for some of the most common questions and concerns that servicewomen have around deployment. (Photo: Connected Health)

The Defense Health Agency announces the release of Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen, the agency’s newest progressive web application.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Health Care Technology

Top Military Health Care Leader Looks to the Future of Medicine

Article
3/23/2022
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kathryn Lipscomb, the urology department head at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota in Spain, waves to staff in USNH Naples, Italy during the first virtual cystoscopy between both hospitals in Jan 2021. (Photo: Navy Cmdr. Ryan Nations)

Health care has come a long way in recent years, thanks to technology, innovation and unexpected challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. The explosion of capabilities includes robots in the operating room, the expansion of virtual health care and virtual encounters, remote patient monitoring and artificial intelligence.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

How COVID-19 Made the Military Medical Community Stronger

Article
3/21/2022
Image of a service member being treated

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic has made the military medical community stronger and will help when confronting the next crisis, whether that’s another pandemic, a new conflict or natural disaster

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 8
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 20, 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