Did you know that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest health care system in the United States? VHA gives first class health care to veterans. VA trains future doctors and other health care workers. Most doctors have done part of their training in VA Medical Centers. VA does great research that helps all of us. VA serves as a back up for national emergencies and disasters. This means VA would help take care of people who are injured in the event of war or disaster, not just veterans.
VA has a lot of technology available to treat patients. All patient charts are on the computer. VA uses bar codes on medicines to be sure there are no mix-ups when patients get their pills in the hospital. Veterans get their medicines mailed right to their homes from the computerized mail out pharmacy. Have you heard of Telemedicine? VA does more than 350,000 consults via telemedicine. With special videoconference equipment and computers, people miles away from each other can talk face-to-face. This helps veterans in rural areas who might not be able to travel far to see a special doctor. VA uses satellite broadcasts to train workers.
Some veterans need special help to get well or adjust. VHA uses prosthetics and sensory aids to help restore the capability of disabled veterans and improve their quality of life. VHA also has special programs for veterans who:
- Are homeless
- Are mentally ill
- Have spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries
- Need blind rehabilitation
- Served in the Gulf War
- Are Women veterans
- Are at risk for loss of limbs.
VHA is getting ready for the way health care will be done in the future. VHA is starting a new program called Care Coordination. Doctors and nurses will use the Internet, telephone, and telemedicine to see how veterans are doing in their homes.