The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased more than 1000%, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect during the Covid-19 pandemic. The VA Loma Linda has conducted more than 8,163 telehealth appointments between February and May.

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 VA Loma Linda represents a 1018% increase from the same time period last year. Other telehealth milestones from the VA Loma Linda include:

  • 58,000 Veterans have used a Video Connect appointment
  • 100% of Mental Health Providers are seeing patients using Video Connect
  • 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.

“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 telehealth coordinator, Don Matthews. “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.”

For information about VA’s telehealth services click here.

Image Sources

  • Video visits: Shutterstock