U.S. Coast Guard Improves Access to Care Through CIO-SP3 & Telehealth Capability

MicroHealth, a NITAAC CIO-SP3 Contract Holder, has deployed and is managing some of the largest enterprise virtual care programs in the world. When the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) identified the need for a telehealth capability to provide remote delivery of healthcare via landline communications, cellular service and the internet, MicroHealth sprang into action to provide USCG's first-ever telehealth program.

The USCG’s immediate and urgent requirement was propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing. Since health information is considered private, sensitive data, the solution also had to be Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant, implemented in a GovCloud environment and developed within an unusually short nine-month timeframe.

In partnership with Iron Bow and ViiMED, MicroHealth rapidly deployed the ViiMED telehealth video conferencing system throughout the USCG on the AWS Cloud Platform. The ViiMED system is a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing system that meets DOD and federal cybersecurity standards to enable virtual, face-to-face patient meetings. A patient appointment scheduling feature that takes into account USCG healthcare provider availability was put into place. This system is accessible by USCG healthcare providers and patients via any communication medium, including landline, mobile and internet. It also provides a robust reporting feature to help assess the efficacy of this new healthcare model. Reports include system usage, provider usage, appointment durations, patient wait times and drop statistics.

In under six months, the telehealth solution dubbed Coast Guard Care Anywhere has registered over 12,894 patients throughout continental United States There are currently more than 150 providers and over 500 healthcare workers trained and actively using the system.

The success of this effort can serve as a model for other federal departments, agencies and branches of the military. To learn more about how your agency can obtain this or similar technology through the NITAAC CIO-SP3 GWAC, please email NITAACsupport@nih.gov or call NITAAC Support at 1.888.773.6542.