VA Using Tech to Provide Care

The Veterans Administration (VA) recently announced a new federal rule to allow VA doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to administer care to veterans using telehealth regardless of where in the U.S the provider or veteran are located. This also includes care if the care will occur across state lines or outside a VA facility.

In other VA news, “The Telehealth Education Delivered” (TED) truck visited the Carl T. Hayden VA Hospital to give providers, service chiefs and veterans a glimpse into the latest telehealth technology.

TED is a state-of-the-art truck loaded with the newest technology and used to announce the use of the different types of new equipment available to provide care via telehealth.

According to Rod Miles, Virtual Care Program Coordinator at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare Systems, “VA providers and patients are able to discuss and decide together on which telehealth care services are available in their location and clinically appropriate for the patient.”

He also reports, “The VA’s “Video on Demand” has been an important resource for providers and patients at Bay Pines for the past three years. The use of this telehealth tool, provides for a secure web-enabled video service allowing veterans to connect with their providers using their mobile phones or computers.”

Due to several new VA programs and ideas related to technology, a number of the systems within the VA are not only using telehealth but are trying other ways to use technology to enable veterans to receive better care.

To effectively use technology to provide veterans with quicker medical diagnoses, the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System has just installed the hospital’s “BioFire Blood Culture Identification (BICD)” system. This system allows doctors to detect harmful microorganisms in blood samples in just a few hours after blood cultures have been collected.

Positive blood cultures are automatically sent to the new BioFire (BCID) system and tested for the 24 most common infectious agents found in the blood of patients. By being accurately tested, the system is able to reduce the risk of using broad spectrum antibiotics too often which can be associated with unintended side effects.

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