Air Force Veteran Experiences the Value of Virtual Care

Connected Care screensaver on a tablet.

Retired Air Force Staff Sergeant Robert Mielke is well aware that the Villages VA Outpatient Clinic is a mere six-minute drive from his home in Sumter County, Florida. But instead of grabbing his keys and heading to the facility, he often opts for the keyboard instead. It’s a habit he formed in 2005 as an early adopter of My HealtheVet, VA’s online personal health record that enables Veterans to access their VA health care information whenever they want.

“Over the last 10 years, I’ve had open-heart surgery, back surgery, two knee replacements, kidney cancer, and I’ve had to learn to live with a pacemaker,” said Mielke. “With all my medical history, it’s important for me to have direct contact with my health care team through capabilities like Secure Messaging.”

Mielke’s need for communication increased in December 2018 when his VA provider prescribed him an anticoagulant, a medication that requires blood monitoring once a month.

“Typically, I go into the clinic between 12 and 2 p.m. for my bloodwork,” Mielke said. “But the best part of My HealtheVet is that my results are available online by 4 p.m. that same day. I don’t have to wait a week to get the results or go back into the clinic. I know within two hours.”

Read this blog on VAntage Point for more on how Veterans like Mielke are using My HealtheVet to take charge of their health care.