VA improves access increasing telehealth visits

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A telehealth provider meets with veteran for a video appointment. (VA photograph)
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The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System has completed 47,438 video telehealth appointments with veterans in their homes to date in 2020.

This represents an increase in video telehealth appointments of more than 3,500 percent since Jan. 1.

Video telehealth allows veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet or data service connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the coronavirus pandemic, video telehealth has supported veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safe at home.

“When we contemplated using VA Video Connect in a more robust capacity many of our staff members expressed concern that we could not offer all of the services that we offered via a face to face format,” said Timothy Jobin, associate chief of staff for Behavioral Health and VASNHS’ lead project officer for expanding telehealth access due to COVID-19. “What we discovered was that we were not only able to offer most of our services via video, but that it was also a more convenient modality of care for some patients. Additionally, by supplementing most traditional face-to-face mental health care with video appointments, we have essentially expanded access to care. Video mental health care will forever remain a very viable option for most forms of mental health care.”

All primary care and mental health professionals at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System can provide video telehealth care to veterans in their homes or other locations of their choice. In addition, almost 60 percent of all specialty professionals are currently capable of providing video telehealth visits with more staff being trained daily.

More than 14,500 individual veterans served by the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System have completed video telehealth visits. VA staff provide equipment training and support to assist Veterans.
 
 
 

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