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Connecticut VA advances care with My VA Images

Connecticut VA is using the My VA Images app to enhance its care for Veterans.

My VA Images is a web app that enables Veterans to send photos and videos safely and securely at the request of their VA providers using their personal phones or tablets. Veterans then receive clinical feedback on their health care concerns without the need for an appointment.

From June 2022 to March 2023, Connecticut VA providers made 127 requests for Veterans to send photos and videos through the app. Around 73% of those requests were completed, the most requests completed in the country.

“The success lies in patient and staff engagement,” said nurse Tracey Martin, VISN 1 My HealtheVet coordinator. “With the commitment to this process, their resilience has led to greater success.”

Using My VA Images for primary care and dermatology

Connecticut VA’s My VA Images requests are related to primary care and dermatology issues. After a provider submits a request and the Veteran responds, the Veteran receives an assessment in around four days.

When the VA provider determines the Veteran’s issue is not a medical concern or that it doesn’t need in-person treatment, the use of My VA Images has saved the Veteran a trip to the VA facility. Veterans who need further evaluation can be given an in-person appointment.

Guiding Veterans through their use of My VA Images

The VISN 1 My HealtheVet coordinators are champions of the app and guide Veterans through the request process to ensure that they are comfortable with the technology.

Leticia Fernandez, medical support assistant, has a unique perspective as a Veteran. She uses My VA Images to address her personal health care needs. She emphasizes the importance of addressing Veterans’ privacy concerns about My VA Images. “It is important the patient feels confident that their privacy and comfort are a priority for us. We can easily cater to their preferences and get the job done discreetly and efficiently.”

Collaborating to bring the best health care experience to Veterans

The My VA Images team worked together to define a process for VA providers and Veterans using the app. When a provider identifies the need for a patient photo or video, they note it in the computerized patient record system. An advanced medical support assistant uses that data to create a My VA Images request.

“From there, there is collaboration between the clinical, administrative and informatics teams, along with the Veteran, to ensure success,” said Martin.

Connecticut VA My HealtheVet coordinator Pasquale DeLuca encourages VA staff to talk with Veterans about My VA Images’ features. “We should work under the impression that no one knows how the app works. We are going to educate every Veteran.”

DeLuca noted how this collaboration has benefitted VA providers by directing low-risk patients to a more flexible form of care. Connecticut VA received feedback from VA providers who cited positive interactions with Veterans using My VA Images. He hopes Connecticut VA’s success with My VA Images will encourage other VA staff and Veterans to use VA telehealth and apps. “The virtual modality opens up opportunities for patients and providers.”

There are endless possible uses for My VA Images. Veterans have used it for physical therapy coaching, wound assessment and more. Telehealth is rapidly evolving and My VA Images is propelling care into the future.

To learn more, visit the My VA Images page.

This post, Connecticut VA advances care with My VA Images, was originally published by the Veteran's Administration.

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3 days ago

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