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New clinic empowers Veterans to use virtual care tools

doctor and patient talking over phone

When Navy Veteran Scott Lauss was referred to the Virtual Health Resource Clinic, he was skeptical. “I will be 60 soon and don’t like dealing with too much technology.”

The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO) understands technology is moving fast in all aspects of healthcare from scheduling appointments, ordering medications, and communicating with providers. This is why VHSO opened a Virtual Health Resource Clinic, one of 26 in VA nationwide.  

The Virtual Health Resource Clinic provides Veterans with in-person training for a variety of virtual care tools such as Telehealth, Whole Health and other VA apps, VA Video Connect, My HealtheVet, and the Beneficiary Travel Self Service System. The staff also assists with VA healthcare enrollment and PACT Act questions.

“I have one Veteran who uses virtual care tools to minimize in-person visits. He doesn’t drive and doesn’t live close to VA,” said Telehealth Coordinator Robin Burchfield. “He uses online tools such as My HealtheVet, Home Telehealth, and the COPD Program. He told me VA has saved his life three times. I started crying because that’s what it’s all about. Who better to hear it from than a Veteran?”

During doctor appointments, there’s often limited time to discuss virtual care tools as addressing medical concerns is primary focus.

“I was referred to the Virtual Health Resource Clinic by one of my nurses” said Lauss. “I feel like I am healthier because I have access to online health apps. The clinic staff took the time to help me and I didn’t feel like I was just a number.”

Since opening this past June, VHSO’s Virtual Health Resource Center has assisted more than 3,000 individuals; 82.9% Veterans with the remaining being spouses, caregivers, and family members. In a recent survey, an overwhelming number of respondents said they were highly satisfied with the training materials and service. 

“It is our goal to deliver the best care possible for Veterans,” said Burchfield. “The Virtual Health Resource Clinic ensures Veterans receive the right care in the right place at the right time, from a location of their choice.”

Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Virtual Health Resource Center is a walk-in or by appointment clinic that gives one-on-one help and education about online VA resources. Veterans have the luxury to learn and ask questions at their pace.

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