Telehealth, technology, and targeted health communications have proven to be important ways for VA to provide Veterans with quality health care.
With VA’s personal health record My HealtheVet, Veterans are able to play an active role in their health care no matter their location or age. My HealtheVet and its online suite of tools enables Veterans and their health care providers to be more connected to health care information, anywhere, anytime — outside of a clinical face-to-face encounter.
One of the exciting and most popular features is Secure Messaging, which provides Veteran patients with a new level of access to their care providers, allowing them to become even more involved in the management of their own health.
Secure Messaging strengthens the partnership between Veterans and their VA Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT). Veterans with a Premium My HealtheVet account can communicate online with their PACT between appointments. No longer is there a need to phone or drive in to get these answers.
VA has received a tremendous response to Secure Messaging since its introduction to My HealtheVet. As of December 2012 more than 542,000 VA patients opted-in for Secure Messaging. And now, with new data from the Portland VA Medical Center, the VA health care system is looking forward to even greater success in 2013.
No longer is there a need to pick up the telephone or drive in.
At Portland VA Medical Center, Ore. in April 2013, the staff generated nearly as many notes from patients using Secure Messaging as they did from patients that phoned in questions or concerns. “This is an increase in Secure Messaging usage by nearly 15 percent since Fiscal Year 12,” noted program Director, Theresa Hancock. “While there are several variables at work here, this substantial increase represents significant adoption and usage of My HealtheVet by Veteran patients.”
“Secure Messaging enables VA to meet its mission of honoring America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being,” said David M. Douglas, M.D., a champion Secure Messaging provider in Portland, Ore. “With Secure Messaging, Veteran patients can receive answers to questions, make requests for medications and discuss treatment options in near real-time.” VA health care facilities also benefit from improved workload management and efficiencies in patient communications.
As the nation’s largest health network, VA is constantly looking for ways to serve Veterans in the best, most efficient way possible. As My HealtheVet and its new features are rolled out across the country, it is VA’s goal that Veterans, their families, caregivers, and VA staff are able to enjoy a more efficient and effective health care experience.
To learn more about My HealtheVet, visit: www.myhealth.va.gov.