Office of Connected Care

Office of Connected Care extends access to care for patients and
VA care teams by bringing together VA digital technologies
through the web, mobile apps, telehealth, and other innovative
solutions. Through their seamless and integrated
approach, our programs – VA Telehealth Services, My
HealtheVet, VHA Innovation, and VA Mobile – provide Veterans
with technologies that allow them to manage their health care
on their own terms and on their own schedules.>>ROLDAN: I believe the VA with
the technology has broken all barriers. We can get
there without being there.>>CARTER: So I think Telehealth
is just a very unique vehicle that stands on top of what
health care already is, but it allows us to extend the reach.>>DEUTSCH: Clinical video
telehealth is the synchronous live streaming audio-video
between a patient and a provider. So we become an
effective tool on the far end of a camera and still provide that
care and allow that Veteran to be seen.>>SELVIN: Now that training
includes the ability to use the camera, but also do some patient
education, work as more or less the liaison between the primary
care team and the patient.>>DEUTSCH: The patient is
literally seen by their doctor, but mileage is no longer a
concern. And speaking as a Veteran, we here thank you
for your service to us. Being able to say thank you for the
care we receive is unmeasurable.>>SANTIAGO: When I was
depressed, everything was in the dark side. That’s when I met
Myrna Torres, and she helped me
an awful lot.>>TORRES: So I set up a system,
where they get a call. And the call asks them a series of
questions regarding their diagnosis. They answer one
for yes, two for no. If it’s out of range, that’s when I call the
patient. I send the primary doctors a log of every week’s
blood pressures so that they know how the patient
is progressing.>>SANTIAGO: I do my vitals
every morning, and I never did that before. The
program was able to give me direction.>>TORRES: They have access to
care faster, easier, and they feel that they
don’t have to go through this by themselves.>>SANTIAGO: Now I’m content,
and it has a lot to do with the program. She’s like my
guardian angel.>>TORRES: Now he is out there.
He’s going to his groups. He is taking transportation by
himself, and the quality of life is much, much better.>>NARRATOR: After a year of
hospitalization, Michael Franks was daunted by the
prospect of living on his own, until he got help from My
HealtheVet and his Hunter Holmes Maguire VA family.>>FRANKS: Using My HealtheVet
has helped me so far as I guess
convenience. It’s made a whole lot more convenient and easier
on my life, because I don’t have a vehicle to drive. So it helps
that a whole lot.>>MCMILLIAN: I think this is
something that does definitely empower our Veterans to be an
active participant in their own health care.>>ROGERS: My HealtheVet has
really been very helpful, and I’ve been able to see the
Veterans as they start to become more comfortable in using it and
being able to be more independent.>>FRANKS: For me, being
computer illiterate, the ease of use is what stands out
the most for me.>>MCMILLIAN: It’s big to be able
to have that accessibility.>>FRANKS: With the help of Gwen
and Miss Nurse Betty, they gave me the confidence. When I first
started, I couldn’t do hardly any steps. Now I’m doing four
out of the five, and I’m looking forward to getting that fifth
one knocked out. If it wouldn’t have been for their guidance and
help, I wouldn’t be sitting here.>>MCMILLIAN: I could not be
prouder of him. He’s just a phenomenal story and
a remarkable man. To go from where he was to where he is now
is just amazing.>>FRANKS: If I could do it,
anybody could do it.>>NARRATOR: The VHA
Innovation Program allows critical health care innovations
to emerge from the field, evolve based on constructive and
collaborative review, and to be piloted in a safe harbor
environment. The VA Pressure Ulcer Resource App is a prime
example of the integrated nature of the Office of Connected Care.>>MCCOY-JONES: So back in
probably about 2011, the Office of Nursing Services started
working on the Pressure Ulcer Handbook, and we were in the
process of doing the revision for the Pressure Ulcer Handbook.
We wanted to ensure that we were looking at every aspect of care
and how that would impact the Veteran, especially the Veteran
that didn’t have necessarily easy access to the VA. So one of
those things that we looked at was the innovative awards that
the VA was typically doing in various different areas. So the
Office of Nursing Services gathered experts. They were part
of the innovative award process for selecting and looking at
applications and developing how this was going to move forward.
And they decided, you know what? We want to do a mobile app.>>SAYLOR: Some of my impressions
were, wow. Nobody thought of this yet? This is a great idea.>>SPEARS: It’s more convenient.
It’s accessible, and it’s easy to utilize and to find
information that I needed.>>MCCOY-JONES: We wanted to make
it innovative but pull in the caregiver, because it is the
only mobile app on the market for pressure ulcer, pressure
injury. That is for the Veteran and the caregiver, which is huge
for providing continuous care to the Veteran in the home setting.>>SPEARS: Well, it keeps me on
schedule and on track for the last position he was in and for
the medication so that I make sure that his medications are
administered on time.>>SAYLOR: Well, using
the app, for me, it does relieve a lot of stress,
and it’s helping me out a lot. It’s helping me to help others.>>SPEARS: Prior to utilizing the
app, I wasn’t as diligent with turning and repositioning him as
I am now that I’m able to utilize the app.>>JOHNSON: A lot of times,
you’re trying to explain to a caregiver how you should be
transferred, and you can’t find the right words for it. You can
show them a video.>>SPEARS: I also like the
feature that if there’s like an emergency, you can call 911 and
different things like that.>>SAYLOR: It’s putting the VA a
little bit ahead of the curve. I don’t know of anybody else
that’s really doing it.>>MCCOY-JONES: So by having the
mobile technologies, it allows a Veteran to be an active
participant in their care.>>SAYLOR: I saw that there were
some other apps on there from the VA, and I was like, wow. I
said, they have a lot more than what I’m testing here.>>MCCOY-JONES: And they can look
through it at their own pace and become very comfortable with
accessing technology without being overwhelmed.>>SAYLOR: It made me happy at a
time when I was really depressed. It gave me something
to do. It gave me something to take my mind off of all the
negativity that was going on. It makes me want to stay with
the VA, because it gives me more faith in the care that I could
get from the VA.>>NARRATOR: By bringing together
VA digital health technologies under one umbrella, the Office
of Connected Care is enhancing health care coordination across
VA, supporting Veterans participation in their own care,
and ultimately, helping to improve Veteran health. [MUSIC]

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