Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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 | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety | 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...

Dr Robert Marshall

Photo
6/21/2022
Dr Robert Marshall

Dr. Robert Marshall is the program director of the Department of Defense Clinical Informatics Fellowship at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | MHS GENESIS

How MHS GENESIS will become essential to patients' health journey

Article
6/21/2022
Dr. Robert Marshall, program director of the Department of Defense Clinical Informatics Fellowship at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Ensuring proper training of both providers and patients is essential for the successful integration and sustainment of MHS GENESIS into MHS care.

Recommended Content:

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

TRICARE Benefits Programs for National Guard and Reserve Members during Early Eligibility and Activation (Briefing Slides)

Presentation
6/10/2022

Your options for coverage during early eligibility and activation.

Recommended Content:

Information for Providers

How Military Medicine Is Preparing for the Next Conflict

Article
6/8/2022
As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations.

As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations. That’s especially true for the medics supporting troops on the front lines.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Care Technology

MHS Video Connect Improves Provider Productivity, Patient Readiness

Article
6/8/2022
Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Robert Cornfeld shines light on how MHS Video Connect improves provider productivity.

MHS Video Connect, the Defense Health Agency’s new comprehensive telehealth platform, rolled out to all U.S.-based forces in 2021 and is currently being rolled out outside the continental U.S.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect

BDAACH Enhances Its Surgical Capability Through Robotic Surgical System

Article Around MHS
6/6/2022
Surgical hospital

Three years of dedication to activating the robotic surgical system in the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) finally came to fruition on May 16, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Research and Innovation

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 | Health Care Technology

How MHS Video Connect Improves Mission Effectiveness and Care Quality

Photo
5/18/2022
How MHS Video Connect Improves Mission Effectiveness and Care Quality

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.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

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

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

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

BAMC Earns Re-Verification as Level I Trauma Center

Article
1/28/2022
Trauma personnel receive an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO patient into the Emergency Department at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 24, 2022. BAMC has been re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons for its dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas has been re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.

Recommended Content:

Direct Reporting Markets | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Ready Reliable Care

Contract Awarded for Largest Overseas U.S. Military Hospital

Article
1/21/2022
Rendering of the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center Replacement (ROBMCR) project.

The contract to build the largest U.S. hospital outside the United States has been signed, marking a significant step forward in progressing the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center Replacement (ROBMCR) project.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Defense Health Agency Region Europe

MHS Video Connect Campaign Toolkit

Publication
1/12/2022

This toolkit provides content and visual assets to support promotion of the MHS Video Connect program.

Recommended Content:

MHS Video Connect
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 26
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 14, 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.