VA rolls out telehealth scheduling system

VA rolls out telehealth scheduling system

Last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs demonstrated its new Clinical Video Telehealth (CVT) scheduling software, designed to improve how VA employees schedule their telehealth appointments.

In development since 2011, the national CVT scheduling application ensures health care providers and their systems at both ends of  a telehealth session are coordinated across different Veterans Information Systems Technology Architecture (VistA) scheduling systems.

Synchronous CVT requires the presence of both parties at the same time and a communication link between them that allows a real-time interaction to take place. To handle those requirements a full featured scheduling system is critical, according to the VA.

In addition to the videoconferencing used in synchronous telehealth applications, peripheral devices can be attached to computers or videoconferencing equipment that can aid in an interactive examination.

Asynchronous, or Store-and-Forward Telehealth, involves acquiring medical data, including medical images, biosignals, and voice recordings  and then transmitting this data to a doctor or medical specialist for assessment at a convenient time offline. It does not require the presence of both parties at the same time.

“We have to adapt to meet veterans wherever their needs are,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “A brick-and-mortar facility is not the only option for health care. We are exploring how we can more efficiently and effectively deliver health care services to better serve our veterans and improve their lives. Telehealth is one of those areas we have identified for growth.” 

Currently, there are more than 44 clinical specialties offered to veterans through VA’s telehealth programs. One program at the Miami VA hospital schedules close to 90 clinic connections every week for dermatology, eye exams, the women veterans program, podiatry, mental health and other clinical specialties.

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