Patients at Handful of Military Hospitals Now Using New Phone App to Get Care

An operating room is shown at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center Complex in Ohio.
An operating room is shown at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center Complex in Ohio. (Wikimedia Commons)

Patients at five military hospitals are using a new digital platform to schedule appointments and arrange care -- and patients at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center are among them.

The digital platform is called "My Military Health."

"We're looking for ways to improve how both patients and providers experience care," Col. Dale Harrell, 88th Medical Group commander, said in a statement from the medical center. "Everything from how you make an appointment, complete lab work or use the pharmacy to deciding whether to receive care in person or virtually -- we are expanding all options."

The platform will offer "easier, faster and more convenient access to care" and health information," the group said.

The Medical Group said Wright-Patterson patients can expect in coming months appointment reminders, virtual waiting rooms, scheduled and on-demand online visits, and other services.

The tool will not replace the MHS Genesis system and isn't meant to, a spokeswoman for the 88th Medical Group said.

Last month, a new U.S. Government Accountability Office report said the Department of Defense needed to address a lingering lack of user satisfaction with the Military Health System's Genesis online health care and health records portal.

Some have described the new tool as an "app." But the 88th Medical Group spokeswoman, Kristen Van Wert, said that's incorrect.

"It is optimized for use on a cell phone in the way some websites are, but it is not an app," she said.

She was unable to say how many Wright-Patterson patients are using the tool. She said patients are referred to the SilverCloud platform by healthcare providers. SilverCloud is an online self-help wellness platform within My Military Health.

Besides the Wright-Patterson Medical Center, the four other military hospitals using the tool as "venture sites" are:

  • Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Moore, Ga.
  • Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va.
  • 96th Medical Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

"This helps us move beyond traditional models of care that rely primarily on in-person visits," said Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, director of the Defense Health Agency. "The tools will include cutting-edge technologies that strengthen our digital platform and provide a comprehensive blend of self-guided care, real-time and flexible virtual care, and upgraded direct patient care -- a model of care that fundamentally changes the experience for patients."

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