Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Veterans can video chat with VA doctors from anywhere

Telehealth system cuts down on wait time for veterans to see VA doctors

by Kaila Lafferty
January 15th 2020
One of the key benefits of these systems is providing care to patients who live far away from a VA medical center. "We're changing the way that we address our patients." RN Clinical Manager, Teresa West

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) — A new telehealth system is helping patients at the VA receive treatment for everything from refills on prescriptions, to check-ups and even care for PTSD.

As part of the system, veterans can video chat with doctors from anywhere.

Iraq war veteran Chris Durney met with his doctor through the system called, VA Video Connect.

"I can use this and set up an appointment, talk with my own doctor, my own provider and get those things done," said Durney.

RN Clinical Manager, Teresa West, had a patient experiencing symptoms of PTSD. He used VA Video Connect to see West face-to-face.

She talked him through his breathing, and immediately saw results. "His blood pressure came down, and he was amazed, it was 130/80. And he said, 'Oh this is incredible, I can't believe this,’" West explained.

Durney also saw the benefits of the system while dealing with his own PTSD, "Loud noises do make me cower a little bit, they affect me," he said.

He can make an appointment and speak with a specialist whenever and wherever he needs. "It's really great to be able to see a mental health professional almost at any time," he said.

Doctors with the VA are seeing the benefits as well. "I think the concept is wonderful, I think it works great. It's really easy to get into and I think it's an asset that we have as physicians to continue the care that we want to provide to our patients," said Dr. Jacqueline O’Donald.
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