Coatesville VAMC surpasses 10,000 video visits - Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center
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Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center

 

Coatesville VAMC surpasses 10,000 video visits

A clinical Psychologist at the Newtown Square VA Clinic sits at her desk and is seeing her patient, a 33-year-old female, U.S. Army Veteran on the computer monitor through VA Video Connect.

Dr. Bernadette Hayburn, Clinical Psychologist at the Newtown Square VA Clinic, is seeing her patient Devika Mangaroo, a 33-year-old U.S. Army Veteran using VA Video Connect, January 14, 2020. Mangaroo took a quick break to attend the appointment in the comfort of her car from her employer’s parking lot. Mangaroo uses her cellphone to reduce time away from work and to maintain the relationship she has built with her therapist.

Friday, July 31, 2020

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 Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Coatesville VA Medical Center conducted 9,299 appointments just between March and June.

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. Nationally, usage has been increasing since mid-March with peak usage reaching over 29,000 appointments per day.

“Coatesville VA made it a priority to continue to provide access to high-quality health care through Telehealth,” said Connected Care Manager, Ralph Strickland. “We are reaching a higher percentage of our Veterans through VVC than most other VA facilities our size through this mode of Telehealth.”

The 3,063 appointments in June at Coatesville VAMC represents a 1200% increase from January’s numbers. Mental health appointments made up 74% of all Telehealth appointments and Social Work was the next most used service at 11%, followed by Ambulatory care at 5%. Other areas contributing to the rapid increase include Home Based Primary Care, Clinical Pharmacy, Nutrition, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Strickland said, “With a Veteran trust rating that exceeds 92% we are confident Veterans, to include those who are new to Telehealth, are happy with the level of care they are receiving.”

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.

VA Video Connect can be used on almost any computer, tablet or mobile phone equipped with an internet connection, a web camera and microphone. VA Video Connect uses end-to-end encryption to ensure privacy in each session. Virtual care is personalized, safe and effective and there are no co-payments associated with most VVC appointments.

Read more about VA Video Connect. For information about VA’s telehealth services visit connectedcare.va.gov.

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