Telehealth technology does more than overcome the physical distance between patients and health care providers. Staff members of the Telehealth Suicide Prevention Program at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Wichita, Kansas, are using telehealth tools to support Veterans transitioning from inpatient psychiatric clinics to outpatient mental health services.
The first week after discharge is a high-risk period for suicide attempts among patients with mental health challenges. Home Telehealth staff members decided that equipping Veterans with telehealth tools, including video telehealth and remote patient monitoring equipment, during the transition would offer Veterans more options for receiving follow-up care.
“Telehealth turns those follow-up interactions into more than just a phone call,” said Jordan-Yette, telehealth suicide prevention coordinator for the program. “And for these patients, that is vital.”
Read more about the Dole VAMC Telehealth Suicide Prevention Program on VAntage Point.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to reflect on personal drinking habits. My HealtheVet recently published an article to help Veterans explore the question: how much is too much? The story spotlights VA’s VetChange mobile app and online program. Both offer proven self-help tools to help stop or cut back on problematic drinking.
VetChange is a confidential way to:
- Set personal goals to reduce or quit drinking
- Track your progress and stay motivated with daily feedback
- Educate yourself about common situations that could trigger drinking
- Learn how to cope with stress, sleep problems, anger and other emotions
Read the article for more information about VetChange.
Connected Care Chief Officer Neil Evans, MD, recently attended the CXO Tech Forum: Health IT Modernization in Arlington, Virginia, and participated on the discussion panel, Improving Veterans’ Health Care through Digital Services.
During the 30-minute question-and-answer session, Dr. Evans shared details about many Connected Care services and initiatives, including VA Blue Button and Secure Messaging through My HealtheVet and video visits through VA Video Connect. He touched on the countless creative ways that VA uses telehealth technologies to increase access to care, and the quality of that care, for our nation’s Veterans.
“Part of our broader strategy, from a health perspective, is to put health care into the hands of Veterans increasingly where they are,” Dr. Evans explained.
View the full panel discussion in this archived livestream video.
VA Telehealth, already the largest telehealth program in the nation, is expanding to fill gaps in primary care and mental health, provide support services for VA intensive care units in rural areas, meet seasonal health requirements, and more.
“We’re really excited about seeing that continued expansion of how we reach patients and also how we can operate more efficiently as an integrated national health system,” said Connected Care Chief Officer, Dr. Neil Evans.
VA is currently building additional telehealth hubs for primary care and mental health. This spring, VA facilities in Pennsylvania are launching a new TeleSeasonal “virtual tick clinic” to address Lyme and tick-borne illnesses.
“I love it! On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 15!” raved U.S. Air Force Veteran Robert Glass when asked about his experience using My HealtheVet. “You can find everything you need to know, easily, quickly and concisely.”
Mr. Glass, a bladder cancer survivor, originally signed up for My HealtheVet in 2016 and has been an avid user ever since. He logs in every day – even creating a special tab on his desktop that takes him directly to the portal – to manage his prescriptions, send Secure Messages to his VA care team, research medical information and more.
“Really, it’s made me more of an active participant. Instead of being a patient, I’m a team member and much more involved in my health care.”
Mr. Glass was very happy to provide Connected Care with his testimonial to help promote My HealtheVet. Read the rest of his story on VAntage Point.
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