, NY — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased over 1000%, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the Central New York region, the Syracuse VA Medical Center has conducted over 22,000 telehealth appointments between October 1, 2020 and September 14, 2020.
VA Video Connect allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Video Connect 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 Syracuse VA Medical Center represents a 870 % increase from the same time period in 2019. Other telehealth milestones from the Syracuse VAMC include:
• All Primary Care Providers can complete Video to Home Visits
• All Mental Health Providers can complete Video to Home Visits
• The Syracuse VA Medical Center offers Video to Home appointments in 30 different Specialty Care Clinics
VA is also taking 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.
Read more about VA Video Connect. For information about VA’s telehealth services visit connectedcare.va.gov.