VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network
VA Telehealth Services uses health informatics, disease management and telehealth technologies to target care and case management to improve access to care, improving the health of Veterans.
Telehealth changes the location where health care services are routinely provided.
The value VA derives from telehealth is not in implementing telehealth technologies alone, but how VA uses health informatics, disease management and telehealth technologies to target care/case management thereby facilitating access to care and improving the health of veterans.
VA San Diego Healthcare System's Telehealth Program
VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) participation in the Rural Health Initiative (RHI) is largely built around an aggressive telehealth program and supporting outreach to rural Veterans. VASDHS conducts over 1600 patient and provider visits where the patient is in a clinic near home, and the provider is in the main hospital. Over 200 visits had the patient in the clinic for photographs of a skin area or for a diabetic’s eyes. The photographs are then forwarded to their physician at the hospital to be evaluated for treatment. Over 1600 appointments were video conferences between the patient in the clinic and the provider in the hospital. Although San Diego is a largely urban area, 13% of all Home Telehealth patients are from designated rural areas. The Tele-Mental Health (TMH) video program alone saw a 28% increase in new rural patients added to their programs. On the strength of past successes in extending TMH to rural Veterans, VASDHS was selected to pilot a region-wide Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Evidence-Based Psychotherapy TMH program. Launched at the beginning of the fiscal year, this program now reaches underserved Veterans in a three-state area with more sites added weekly.
Outreach: VASDHS goes out quarterly with the VBA and the Vet Center to provide information about our services to the rural areas at the Indian Health Service (Indian Health Council). We have been doing this for over a year now as requested by the American Indian Veterans Association (AIVA).
VA Long Beach Spinal Cord Injury Rural Telehealth Project
On October 13, 2012, VA Long Beach Healthcare System’s Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Unit participated in the First Stand Down event in Santa Barbara County organized to serve and serve homeless and unemployed Veterans. The Stand Down was organized by District Supervisor, Steve Lavagnino, and held at the Santa Maria Fairpark.
VA provided flyers and brochures with information about the telehealth, caregiver and SCI programs/services and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) organization. A telehealth presentation was conducted using a laptop with a webcam and the necessary software to show an example of a telehealth visit.
About 150 homeless Veterans were offered services at the Stand Down. These services included dental, medical, and mental health/PTSD care; clothing, haircuts, and showers; a kids zone and chow line. Participating organizations included American Red Cross, the Marine Corps League, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, Employment Development Dept., Pacific Gas & Electric, Internal Revenue Service, Disabled American Veterans, Alcohol Anonymous, public defenders, Legal Aid Foundation, and Social Security. Other state, county, and local organizations attended to address needs such as: rape crisis, housing authority, local colleges, suicide prevention, tax board, and others.
The VA’s SCI Unit Telehealth Services can bring greater and improved healthcare satisfaction, reduce travel costs and time spent driving to the hospital, improve communications with the primary care provider, and gives Veterans better control of their health care choices. Current users of SCI Telehealth have this to say: “Very valuable service. Valuable for myself, and for others.” – Charlie B….“It’s a very valuable program, could be a very valuable tool.” – Robert S….“I thought it was good.” “I learned things about my chair that I didn’t know.” – Byron B…“It saves me from having to drive to Long Beach, and it saves the VA from having to pay to take me down there.” – Davis M.
- VA Desert Pacific
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.