- Introduction: A Top-Level Look at the Future of Federal Medicine
- Military Health System in Time of Transition as Conflicts End
- Army Medicine: Redefining Its Role in the Generation of a Ready and Resilient Force
- Air Force Medicine: Averting an Identity Crisis
- Moving Forward with Reforming the Indian Health Service
- The Clinical Pharmacy Specialist's Growing Provider Role in VA
- Public Health Service Pharmacy: Accelerating Transformation
- Military Pain Management’s Future: Less Invasive, More Data-Driven Techniques
- Navy Medicine: Strong, Agile and Ready
- Telemental Health in VA: A New Source of Support for Veterans
Impacting the LifeSpace
For more than 237 years, Army Medicine has been a critical partner in optimizing soldier performance, with health being a primary performance enabler. In the parlance of the “ready and resilient campaign” — health and resiliency equals sustained readiness for the Force of 2020 and beyond. But herein lays a challenge for medicine: With regard to Army Medicine, a soldier averages only 100 minutes per year with a healthcare provider out of 525,600 minutes per year. This small snapshot of time and limited influence is not adequately addressing the challenge — enabling optimum health. Army Medicine must influence the LifeSpace, the other 525,500 minutes of the year, in order to enable an agile and fully capable force — a ready and resilient force.
Army Medicine is responding to the challenge by empowering our best talent and creativity to leverage health as an enabler for optimal soldier performance and resiliency. We are harnessing technology, research and innovation to increase the number of opportunities to influence healthy choices and enhance soldier performance.
Initiatives will create a solid foundation for comprehensive, standardized and sustainable efforts that promote healthy behaviors and environments for soldiers and the military family.
To this end, Army Medicine is developing a “Performance Triad,” consisting of sleep, activity and nutrition, to guide soldiers and leaders toward optimal health and resilience. There is substantial scientific evidence to support sleep, activity and nutrition as a means to better health and performance. These three areas directly impact our patients’ lives, regardless of their current health status.
In Army Medicine, we employ the acronym MRI (Maintain, Restore and Improve) to remind us of the opportunities to help affect our patients’ health status both in our military treatment facilities and in their LifeSpace.
Maintain, Restore and Improve
- The first opportunity is to Maintain Health: This describes the efforts that go on across Army Medicine every day that help our soldiers and their families. Some of “Maintain Health” happens in deployed units, laboratories and research facilities, teaching facilities, medical- and dental-treatment facilities and garrisons around the world. More commonly, however, maintaining health occurs in the personal LifeSpace of our soldiers and families.
- The second opportunity is to Restore Health: This guides our deliberate and disciplined approach, once illness or injury occurs. This is where we actively intervene and treat patients. It’s medical and dental therapies and public health interventions. It’s also research and teaching modern techniques and materials that speed restoration of health and return quality of life.
- The third opportunity is to Improve Health: This describes our efforts throughout Army Medicine to turn the “health” dial of our patients to the right. To help soldiers and their families become better, healthier and stronger — physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Improvements in our health better prepare us to cope when illness, injury or the inevitable stressors of life take their toll. Maintaining, restoring and improving health happen primarily in the LifeSpace of our patients after they have left our direct care.
Getting back to these basics — as both leaders and healthcare providers — will be key in maintaining a ready and resilient force.
The strength of the Army is its soldiers, and Army Medicine plays a key role in optimizing these professional’s performance and resilience. Army Medicine is promoting a shift in soldier and unit culture so that all professional soldiers develop an internal mindset that drives them to optimize their own health in order to improve their personal and unit performance. We contend that the patient-centered medical home will be integral to impacting the LifeSpace.