Project ATLAS Offers Veterans VA Care in Their Home Community
Project ATLAS (Advancing Telehealth through Local Access Stations) is part of the VA’s Anywhere to Anywhere Telehealth initiative. The goal is to enhance the accessibility of VA health care and help bridge the digital divide by establishing comfortable, private locations in communities where Veterans often have long travel times to VA facilities or poor connectivity at home. ATLAS offers Veterans a convenient space to connect with their VA health care team through video telehealth.
VA Partners with Organizations to Offer Video Telehealth
The VA Office of Strategic Partnerships, in collaboration with VHA Telehealth Services and the field-based Project ATLAS team, has established partnerships with public and private organizations in the community, including:
- Walmart: The Walmart-VA pilot will be a 12-month pilot at 5 Walmart locations beginning in 2019.
- Veteran Service Organizations: Philips has partnered with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion to offer VA telehealth care at select locations around the country with telehealth equipment donated by Philips.
These partnerships will enable VA to define the processes to make these access points successful, establish demand, and inform future telehealth access point efforts. Guidance and necessary agreements have been developed by the national ATLAS team so that new sites can easily stand up an ATLAS site.
What Clinical Services Can Veterans Receive at ATLAS Sites?
- Initially, Veterans seeking care at ATLAS sites will have the opportunity to receive mental health, limited primary care, and other counseling type services based on local facility direction through basic video telehealth.
- No assisted physical exam or “tele-presentation” will be offered in the initial phase.
- Veterans’ personal peripheral devices (e.g. Bluetooth stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs) may be used for these encounters, but no clinical equipment will be present at ATLAS sites.
- No VA employees will be based at these sites; however, the ATLAS site may have employees or volunteers present to assist Veterans with their telehealth encounter.
Ensuring Quality of Care and Experience
VA wishes to ensure high quality care at Project ATLAS sites. VA researchers will be looking at provider and Veteran experience, measures of access (e.g. change in missed/cancelled appointments), clinical outcomes (e.g. completed course of mental health care, diabetes management), and cost savings (e.g. related to travel).
ATLAS Expansion and Future Sites
Selection of ATLAS sites will be prioritized based on:
- Travel time to VA facilitates
- Veteran population
- Limited broadband availability
Future ATLAS partnerships include Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Defense and Colleges/Universities.
Interested in partnering? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org