The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has released a new plan to modernize and stabilize the U.S. military’s healthcare system with the goal of improving the delivery of medical services for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) civilian and military employees for the next five years.

The DHA Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2023 to 2028 provides the agency with guidance on delivering an integrated healthcare delivery system. It also furthers the agency’s vision to transition DHA to a “digital-first model of healthcare delivery centered on the patient.”

“The Military Health System is changing. By simultaneously modernizing and stabilizing our health system, we will meet this change head-on,” DHA Director, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, said in a statement.

“To improve healthcare delivery and ensure our beneficiaries receive the best possible care, we must identify and leverage transformative technologies, expand partnerships, and adopt new models of health and wellness,” she added.

The plan outlines three strategic functions aligned with the agency director’s priorities to enable combat support to the joint force in crisis, build an integrated and resilient healthcare delivery model, and create a revitalized workforce. It also prioritizes adopting new technology to improve both its care options and its information delivery systems.

DHA plans to use the Performance Management Framework – a performance management system that covers the majority of DoD employees – to measure the success it makes in implementing the plan.

“Having a cohesive and sequential approach to performance management will ensure leaders have the right data at the right time,” said Crosland. “By the end of FY 2028, we will be an integrated, highly reliable health care system focused on person-centered care.”

The plan also calls for improving hiring efforts, increasing professional development opportunities, and fostering a culture of cooperation.

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Tanya Y. Johnson, senior enlisted leader for the DHA, said those aspects are critical components to successfully implementing the agency’s new plan.

“Our people are our most valuable resource. We want every member of the workforce to feel empowered and energized to not just meet but exceed their mission sets,” said Johnson. “The DHA Strategic Plan is a blueprint for how we can build on all the great work we’ve done over the past ten years … It’s more than a to-do list; it’s the bedrock of our culture and a critical part of how we’ll continue to move the agency forward.”

DHA plans to revise the strategy annually to ensure it remains aligned with the most relevant DoD priorities and any legislative changes.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.