Tomah VA Medical Center
Tomah VA surpasses 10,000 video appointments
Tomah VA Medical Center surpasses 10,000 video visits in 2020
VA Video Connect visits increase over 1000 percent nationwide during COVID-19 pandemic
Tomah, WI — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased over 1000 percent, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect (VVC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Tomah, WI the Tomah VA Medical Center has conducted over 10,000 telehealth appointments from October 1, 2019-June 30, 2020.
VVC allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams including primary care and mental health on any computer, tablet or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VVC 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.
Tomah VA Medical Center’s Mental Health and Primary Care providers can provide VVC services to Veterans. The Mental Health department has conducted over 3,500 appointments using the VVC platform and Primary Care has seen a 111 percent increase in VVC visits. The utilization of the VVC platform has allowed Veterans to maintain contact and continuing their care within the safety and comforts of their home.
The increase at Tomah VA Medical Center represents a greater than 1,162 percent increase in VVC appointments from February 2020 to May 2020. Other telehealth milestones from the Tomah VA Medical Center include:
- Over 400 veterans have been provided with VA issued IPADS for virtual care.
- Over 10,200 total telehealth appointments have been conducted in fiscal year 2020 which included Whole Health, Physical Therapy, Occupation Therapy, Speech Therapy, Pain University, Homeless Veterans Program, Mental Health, Residential Rehabilitation Services, Chaplin Services, Nutrition/MOVE services, Caregiver Support Services, and others. This represents an approximate 17 percent increase year over year.
- 35 percent of all veterans affiliated with Tomah VA have received services via telehealth.
The VA is also making 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, VA has and continues to maintain access to safe high-quality health care for Veterans,” said Karen Long, Acting Tomah VA Medical Center Director. “VA remains committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure Veterans have access to care where and when they need it.”
Read more about VA Video Connect. For information about VA’s telehealth services visit connectedcare.va.gov.