JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The Virtual Appointment Management Office, assigned to the Virtual Medical Center, celebrated a significant milestone recently. They scheduled more than 100,000 Virtually Integrated Patient Readiness Remote, or VIPRR, clinic appointments.
“I am extremely amazed at this accomplishment,” said Army Lt. Col. Jenny Hayes, Virtual MEDCEN deputy director of administration. “The VAMO staff performs daily as a high functioning team and answers each call with professionalism, providing accurate, compassionate and timely scheduling for service members. Their efforts make a tremendous impact on the readiness of our warfighters.”
The VIPRR was developed by the Army in 2016 to improve readiness for remotely located Soldiers without organic Army medical support in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Today, the VIPRR Clinic offers remote primary care virtual health and medical readiness to all military services.
These services include synchronous personal health assessments, pre- and post-deployment health assessments, post-deployment health reassessments and other readiness health services for active duty service members.
“VIPRR is the most productive periodic health assessment clinic in the direct care system,” Hayes said. “They completed more than 33,000 PHAs and other readiness exams in the fiscal year 2020, compared to less than 1,000 in FY 2019 and they completed over 60,000 visits in FY 2021.”
The virtual assessments helped service members avoid more than one thousand miles of travel in FY 2020, saving both travel funds and lost duty time, Hayes explained.
“Additionally, VIPRR began integrating with Military Treatment Facility appointing centers and the Nurse Advice Line to provide additional acute primary care capacity,” she said.
In the future, the Military Health System plans to explore the expansion of this capacity for more readiness exams and also to integrate into regional appointing centers to increase available capacity in geographical areas where the network is not as robust.
“Our VAMO staff is a remarkable team, with outstanding leadership from Lt. Col. Hayes,” said Jeff Burgwin, Virtual MEDCEN deputy director.
“Scheduling 100,000 virtual health appointments is an amazing milestone. We are so proud of their accomplishment and dedication to the VMC mission to synchronize, standardize and coordinate virtual medical services across the enterprise supporting readiness programs.
“They serve as the first line in care coordination to make sure the patient and provider are in the right place for the virtual health encounter,” he added.