What is MHS Navigator?
Imagine having all the tools for navigating the Military Healthcare System in one place! MHS Navigator is a mobile app, used on any Internet enabled device, which aids the patient in navigating the MHS in a proactive and real-time manner.
Pertinent and timely information will be pushed to the mobile device for consumption and interaction. This information will be pulled from relevant databases, websites, or applications and then disseminated, enhanced, or simplified. The design of the delivery platform is essential because information delivery, through a responsive and easy interface, is the value of MHS Navigator. Healthcare information in its current form is disorganized, often inaccurate, and difficult to utilize.
How MHS Navigator Works
MHS Navigator is meant to work in the manner a patient will navigate their healthcare. The app uses 5 tools to accomplish this. Although each separate tool is integral to the application, they should not be seen as disparate. Instead each tool is interconnected and should work seamlessly together. MHS Navigator will actively direct the patient through the complicated “dance” that is Military Healthcare by prompting the patient to use the right tool at the right time. Indeed, patients should never feel the burden of opening a tool, utilizing it, closing the tool, and then opening the next. Maximum usability with minimum effort is the goal.
The product developer shares his rational for creating MHS Navigator:
"I have worked in the healthcare environment, both administratively and clinically, for the last ten years. During this time, I have asked a lot of my patients. I’ve asked them to navigate the nuances of the healthcare system, when all they should be concerned about is their health. For example, a patient needs to arrive at her appointment on time with necessary documentation mentally and physically prepared to obtain medical counseling or treatment, she needs to understand how her treatment plan matches up to her insurance benefits, and then, after it all, she will hopefully review her experience or report a violation if necessary. There are so many complicated, confusing steps unrelated to becoming healthier! What I started to realize is there are an overwhelming amount of steps in attaining healthcare services – unrelated to becoming healthier – and how insufficiently we have equipped patients for successful navigation."
MHS Navigator acknowledges that there are differing priorities depending on the diverse populations of patients, civilian and military providers, health systems, clinics, and administrators have differing priorities and will align these to achieve one goal all can agree on: easing the burden of navigating healthcare, so everyone can focus on optimizing health. Optimal population health can only be achieved when the worries and confusion of navigating the system are overcome.
What MHS Navigator is Not: Just Another Disconnected Tool
One might counter the notion of MHS Navigator by saying, “We already have enough tools, why can’t we just use what we currently have?” We can! MHS Navigator uses many of the tools we currently have, and aims to increase access and capability to these tools, but it also adds functionality unique to the app.
For example, some commands are pushing Tricare Online as their online booking mechanism, others suggest Relay Health, and still others have a separate remote booking option available. Who can expect a patient to keep track of this if they receive care at different places? MHS Navigator will be the portal through which current initiatives, technologies, or capabilities are delivered. Wouldn’t we all like this in one place?