VA Video Connect visits increase over 1000% nationwide during COVID-19 pandemic
LEBANON, Pa. – 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 South Central Pennsylvania, Lebanon VA Medical Center has conducted nearly 7,000 telehealth appointments this year.
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 nationwide.
The increase at Lebanon VA Medical Center represents a 782% increase from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. During the 4-month period, over 6,000 telehealth appointments were conducted to help our Veterans stay safe! Other telehealth milestones for the local medical center during this time frame include:
- 2,482 Mental Health video appointments
- 998 Primary Care video appointments
- 598 Physical and Occupational Therapy appointments
- 575 Nutrition appointments
- 401 Home Based Primary Care appointments to reach our home bound Veterans
- 216 Surgical video appointments that include pre-op and post-op care
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 Robert W. Callahan, Jr. “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.”