The Vision for the Future Military Health System

The Vision for the Future Military Health System Day Three’s…

March 04, 2022

The Vision for the Future Military Health System

Day Three’s conversation centered around the future of the military health system, its reorganization, and the collective focus on fostering a culture of innovation. Moderated by Sonja Lemott, Chief Engineer of the Program Executive Office at DHMS, leaders of military health organizations came together to discuss their efforts to leverage the new technologies that will support these future transformations.

The Pandemic as a Driver of Inter-Operability

From Nichols’ experience, he’s seen the pandemic break down the metaphorical walls and spur more timely and collaborative work. In the past, just sharing agreements between agencies could take upwards of 285 days. Now, they’re able to share process data and partner with other organizations internal to military health care, but also those external—such as the CDC and the White House. From an execution perspective, we see this come to fruition in ways such as EIDS’ sharing data with the CDC. Every day, EIDS aggregates, consolidates, and anonymizes data from 16 different systems and pushes it to the CDC. In turn, that data is then used to inform and direct the overarching decision on how to execute the mission and vaccinate our population.

A longtime leader in telehealth, Scott saw the VA channel that experience when the pandemic kicked off by creating a joint health information exchange (HIE). There are now hundreds of HIEs and thousands of facilities. It’s created a system that puts a more holistic patient record in front of clinicians when they need it, allowing them to improve patient outcomes.

Driving Initiatives Forward

Norley shares that innovation is where these organizations always need help; it’s what industry brings to the acquisition field and program offices. One example of this can be seen in JOVIS’ implementation of MEDCOP, a C2SA tool used to shed light on the different logistics at play in medical readiness. MEDCOP cross-references what’s going on in every facet of the operation and presents a fuller picture to those interpreting the data. However, help is needed to leverage the learning and aggregating of data in operational spaces. In the [military] field, the trend is to use every sensor in the field for everything it can provide. By coordinating, this same goal can be achieved in the operational world with medical data, sending correlations back to commanders in near real time and laying out the options.

The Private Industry as Partner

The private industry also has a role to play in this endeavor. As a result of listening to suggestions from partners across the spectrum, great strides have been made in tech which have improved the way data is transported and presented. Scott shares that clinicians typically have access to more patient information than they could ever process in time, demonstrating that more isn’t necessarily better. In partnership, these organizations have sought and found ways to streamline the data presentation process, now providing the most pertinent information to the clinician at the time of patient encounter.

In the rapidly changing world of healthcare, we can never know which parts of an organization will need to scale up quickly or when. But through partnerships like those outlined in this session, we can meet the challenges ahead. Collaboration and innovation are the future. Together, they will propel us towards the ultimate goal of improving benefit delivery and patient outcomes. Onward!


Thought Leadership