Skip to main content

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Defense Health Agency Kicks Off Health IT Symposium

Image of Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, Department of Defense’s assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, spoke at the 2023 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium on Aug. 8, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, Department of Defense’s assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, spoke at the 2023 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium on Aug. 8, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Leaders in government, military, and industry health information technology convened at the 2023 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium on Aug. 8, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Defense Health Agency sponsored the IT symposium, which focuses on the latest health IT information, research, and studies focused on the symposiums theme, “Pursuing Enterprise Standardization—Joint, Resilient, Excellent.” 

Flanders-IT-Symposium2023Pat Flanders, program executive officer medical systems/chief information officer for the Defense Health Agency, gave the opening remarks at the 2023 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium on Aug. 8, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. (credit: Robert Hammer, Military Health System)

Pat Flanders, program executive officer medical systems/chief information officer for the DHA, delivered opening remarks while addressing the newly released DHA Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2023 to 2028. He also highlighted recent accomplishments and future efforts for health IT across the DHA.

“One of the most significant factors contributing to rapid improvement in health care today has been taking advantage of advances in technology,” said Flanders. “The DHA has come a long way over the last three years. We must now leverage technological innovations in support of DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. Crosland's initiative to evolve how we deliver care and meet our patients wherever they are around the world.”

Flanders stressed the importance DHITS because it allows attendees to meet in person and “engage in lively discussion and grow relationships with colleagues from around the DHA.”

The symposium provides an opportunity for knowledge sharing, innovative ideas, discussions of lessons learned, and the introduction of new IT developments within the MHS.

The event features presentations on a range of topics including enterprise standardization, patient experience, data analytics, operational medicine, cyber security, innovation, and business.  

The first day of the symposium’s plenary sessions continued with Department of Defense and DHA senior leaders highlighting how the agency intends on creating a technological-driven future ensuring patient-centered care.

Plenary sessions for the day were led by Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, DOD’s assistant secretary of defense for health affairs; Dr. Michael Malanoski, deputy director of the DHA; and Donald Johnson, assistant director of support for the DHA.

Awards-IT-Syposium-2023 Defense Health Agency’s leaders presented some awards to three DHA teams for their work in auditability compliance, cyber security, and rationalization/alignment of resources in military hospital and clinics at the 2023 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium on Aug. 8. (credit: Robert Hammer, Military Health System)

During his keynote address, Martinez-Lopez shared the significance of bringing health IT professionals together to collaborate.

“It’s always good to bring the people working hard every day together to further the mission of the MHS,” said Martinez-Lopez.

He noted IT tools like artificial intelligence and others can help improve the health system “from being provider-centric to more patient-centric.”

“Only through collaboration and information sharing will we harness the capability of artificial intelligence to its maximum benefit, while safeguarding the privacy of our patients,” said Martinez-Lopez. “My challenge to each of you is to break down organizational barriers, embrace collaboration, share what you’re learning and stay open to learning from others. 

A variety of awards were also presented to individuals and teams across the Military Health System for their work and research in IT.

Presentations also covered topics relating to IT in the MHS, ranging from operational medicine modernization, the future of joint medical readiness, MHS GENESIS, to the use of artificial intelligence, and women in technology.

“The three main pillars of focus for military health are force readiness, medical force readiness, and care of beneficiaries,” said Martinez-Lopez. “The importance of health information technology to each of these priorities is clear. Health is a foundational aspect of maintaining a high level of readiness in our armed forces.”

You also may be interested in...

Topic
Feb 8, 2024

Research & Innovation

Defense Department’s overall investment for medical research and development (R&D) with Research, Development, Testing, and Development (RDT&E) dollars.

Video
Feb 7, 2024

Military Medical Research Milestones

Military Medical Research Milestones

American military medicine has been the cornerstone of medical accomplishments since the founding of the United States. The efforts and innovations of the military medical research community has advanced the treatments, logistics, procedures, and medications often taken for granted in today’s civilian medical settings. From emergency response to ...

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.

Spotlight
Nov 28, 2023

Defense Health Information Technology Symposium

DHITS: Pursuing Enterprise Standardization. Joint, resilient, excellent

The Defense Health Information Technology Symposium is a three day annual conference, sponsored by the Defense Health Agency. DHITS attendees are government, military, and industry information technology professionals. The symposium provides a unique venue for knowledge sharing, innovative ideas, discussions of lessons learned, and the introduction of ...

Article
Oct 19, 2023

DHA and Veterans Health Administration Collaborate to Innovate, Improve Patient Care

DHA and Veterans Health Administration Collaborate to Innovate, Improve Patient Care

Senior leaders from the Defense Health Agency and Veterans Health Administration came together to discuss collaboration and innovation between the two agencies during the first AMSUS sponsored Innovation Symposium: A Collaboration by Innovators from the VHA and the DHA Agency on Sept. 18 in Bethesda.

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 ...

Article
Sep 11, 2023

Defense Health Agency Using Virtual Tools to Enhance Health Care

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brendt Feldt, a surgeon at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, conducts a virtual health appointment via synchronous video, April 7, 2020. In a session at the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium, key experts in health care IT discussed how leveraging technology, such as MHS Video Connect, can better connect patients and providers. (Photo: Marcy Sanchez)

MHS Video Connect is the primary digital health platform used by the DHA. The platform is a web-based platform that enable digital healthcare delivery between providers and patients. It can be operated on mobile or stationary devices in a place that is convenient for the patient and provider. It is also integrated into MHS GENESIS, providing a ...

Last Updated: November 14, 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