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VA Black Hills Health Care System successfully expands video visits in 2020

Jul 22, 2020 10:01AM ● By MED Magazine

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. VA Black Hills Health Care System conducted over 674 telehealth appointments between March and June 2020. 

VA Video Connect allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA health care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. As we gradually move to more face to face appointments, VA Video Connect will continue to support Veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safely at home. 

The increased usage of telehealth at VA Black Hills Health Care System represents an approximate 200% increase from March 2020. There are roughly thirty-eight specialty services offered through telehealth in areas like oncology, pharmacy and urology. The care may be delivered to the Veteran individually, in a group or even a family setting. Delivering care through telehealth is not new to VA but because of increased COVID-19 precautions it has expanded to provide even greater access to services like Chaplain care, suicide and homeless prevention. 

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. 

“Telehealth has been an excellent tool and reliable resource to maintain ongoing care, especially during these challenging times,” said Jill Tobin, Telehealth Nurse Manager. “As the service becomes more popular with Veterans, VA remains committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure access to care and the same high-quality Veterans have come to expect.”

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