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BAMC Virtual Medical Center wins MEDCOM Mercury Award

By Lori Newman | Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs | May 10, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

A team from the Virtual Medical Center at Brooke Army Medical Center and Regional Health Command-Central has been selected as the 2018 U.S. Army Medical Department Mercury Award winner for Health Information Technology Team of the Year. The award winners were announced April 26, 2019.

The Mercury Awards recognize Army medical department personnel who have made significant contributions and demonstrated outstanding excellence and achievement in health IT.

The team, led by Army Maj. Daniel Yourk, deputy director of operations at the V-MEDCEN, developed the Virtual Health Care Coordination Application, or VHCCA, to support virtual health services and care delivery across the Military Health System.

The team included Army Lt. Col. Sean Hipp, V-MEDCEN director; Gina Domis, core operation functional program manager; Sam Perrow, SharePoint developer; Jeffery Burgwin; Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Stowe; Justin Herrera; Gary Crouch; Rashad Green; Anna Moore and Zekelia Rembert.

"I am extremely proud of this team for their hard work and dedication that allowed us to quickly develop the Virtual Health Care Coordination Application, the only MHS level application available to coordinate virtual health services between military treatment facilities,” Yourk said.

VHCCA supports virtual health referrals and appointment management between MTFs through the Virtual Management Appointment Office located at the V-MEDCEN at BAMC.

“VHCCA was originally developed on the RHC-C SharePoint site for beta testing, then transitioned to the Defense Health Agency CarePoint site,” Domis said.

CarePoint is the DHA’s Enterprise information delivery portal designed to promote self-service business intelligence, user collaboration, content delivery and information transparency. The objective of CarePoint is to improve healthcare quality, access and delivery across the MHS.

“CarePoint is a DHA-approved site to host applications that store PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Protected Health Information),” she said.

VHCCA is a centralized system for managing VH providers, scheduling VH appointments, submitting referral documentation and follow up appointment requests.

“There is also a place to provide feedback, so the application can be improved based on the users’ needs,” Domis said.

Currently, the VHCCA application is being used by the V-MEDCEN here, 47 Army MTFs and one Air Force MTF across the MHS to support virtual health expansion. The number of supported MTFs is expected to grow to over 100 in 2019, with the addition of Navy sites as well. 

Additionally, the VHCCA application currently supports the referral and appointment management of 45 specialty providers. The number of supported providers is expected to grow to over 150 in 2019. 

In 2018, VHCCA was successfully used to coordinate VH services for more than 200 patient encounters. That number is expected to expand to over 4,000 patient encounters in 2019. 

The Mercury Awards will be presented at this this year’s Defense Health Information Technology Symposium in July.

"This is an incredible honor for the Virtual Medical Center and Regional Health Command - Central team to be selected as the recipients of the 2018 Mercury Team Award and to be recognized by the Health Information Technology Community for our contributions to virtual health,” Yourk said.