VA Telehealth Services
VA Telehealth Services provides clinical care in circumstances where distance separates those receiving care from those providing services. The value VA derives from telehealth is not in implementing telehealth technologies alone, but how VA uses health informatics, disease management, care/case management and telehealth technologies to facilitate access to care and improve the health of Veterans with the intent to provide the right care in the right place at the right time.
View the video above to learn about how VA care teams have used telehealth to improve patient care – and patient quality of life – by helping Veterans receive the care they need when they need it, without having to travel long distances or switch providers.
Dr. Jesús R. Casal is a pulmonologist who works at the VA Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico and sees patients from all over the island. He speaks about how telehealth improves delivery of care for his patient Thomas Baumgartner, as well as improving efficiency and workflow for providers. He says, “I can do almost as much as I can do in person…I think telemedicine has been very good for the whole system, not only for the hospital, for the provider… but more importantly for the patient.”
At the VAMC in Cleveland, OH, Clinical Psychologist Christine Frick treats patients with spinal cord injuries, including Veteran Bruce Poole who was seen by Dr. Frick in Cleveland before returning to his home in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Frick says, “telemental health is a wonderful avenue to continue to facilitate growth with someone who I’ve already established a relationship with…it’s like having them in the room with me.” Mr. Poole agrees, saying he might not have continued with counseling at all if he had not had the opportunity to continue with Dr. Frick through telehealth.
Veteran Bill Jacobs lives in rural Colorado, more than 150 miles from the nearest VA hospital. While travel time and mountain road conditions once made it hard for him to get to appointments, he is now able to get better and more consistent treatment by teleconferencing with specialists at the VAMC in Grand Junction, CO. One of his doctors, Dr. Bart Taylor, says, “I was surprised that you could provide…this level of care, and I think the Veterans are actually more satisfied with their care through telehealth.”
Telehealth services offered by VA vary depending on location. For information about services available in a specific area, contact the local VAMC.
Learn more about the resources offered by VA Telehealth Services.