, IL — Edward Hines Jr., VA Hospital surpasses 13,922 video visits in 2020
VA Video Connect visits increase over 1000 percent nationwide during COVID-19 pandemic
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased over 1000 percent, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect (VVC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Hines, Illinois, the Edward Hines Jr., VA Hospital has conducted over 13,922 VVC appointments between Oct. 1, 2019 and July 7, 2020.
VVC allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams (including primary care and mental health) on any computer, tablet or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VVC supported Veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safely at home. Usage of video to home services has been increasing since mid-March with peak usage reaching over 29,000 appointments per day.
The increase at Hines VA Hospital represents a 725 percent increase from 1,909 VVC appointments during 2019. Other telehealth milestones from the Hines VA Hospital from Oct. 1, 2019 and July 7, 2020 include:
- Over 7,407 veterans received VVC telehealth services at home.
- Over 26,564 total telehealth appointments were conducted which included mental health, home telehealth, tele retinal, tele dermatology, primary care and others. This represents an approximate 7 percent increase from 24,870 appointments conducted in fiscal year 2019.
- 17 percent of all veterans affiliated with Hines VA Hospital have received services via telehealth.
The VA is also making strides to bridge the digital divide for Veterans who lack the technology or broadband internet connectivity required to participate in VA telehealth services. At the national level, VA is working with strategic partners, through the VA Secretary’s Center of Strategic Partnerships, to increase access to the technology that Veterans need to connect with their VA health care team virtually.
“As we near the three-year anniversary of the launch of VA Video Connect, even during these challenging times, VA has and continues to maintain access to high-quality health care for Veterans,” said James Doelling, Hines VA Hospital director. “As the service becomes more popular, VA remains committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure Veterans have access to care where and when they need it.”
Read more about VA Video Connect. For information about VA’s telehealth services visit connectedcare.va.gov.