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Wilmington VA Medical Center surpasses 8K telehealth/virtual visits in fiscal year

Delaware News Desk
The Community News

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased more than 1,000%, as veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 more than 29,000 appointments per day.

In Delaware and southern New Jersey, the Wilmington VA Medical Center has conducted 8,403 telehealth appointments between Oct. 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

The increase at Wilmington VA Medical Center represents a 922.26% increase from Oct. 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, in which only 844 VA Video Connect Visits occurred.

Other telehealth milestones from the Wilmington VA Medical Center increase in virtual care can be seen in the current usage rate of the approximately 33,000 veterans served by the medical center and its five clinics is VA Video Connect video-to-home, 11.31%, or approximately 3,730 veterans; Clinical Video Telehealth clinic-to-clinic, 18.30%, or approximately 6,000 veterans; Premium Account users, 50.72%, or approximately 16,700 veterans; and MyHealtheVet Secure Messaging active senders, 24.36%, or approximately 8,000 veterans.

Wilmington VA Medical Center leads Veteran Integrated Service Network 4 in each of these categories. VISN 4 comprises nine VA campuses, 45 outpatient clinics, one mobile clinic and 17 vet centers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, southern New Jersey and parts of New York and Ohio.

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 Wilmington VA Medical Center Director Vince Kane. “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 more, visit connectedcare.va.gov.