/ Articles / VA VideoConnect visits increase over 1,000% nationwide during COVID-19 pandemic
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced video telehealth appointments to veterans’ homes increased over 1,000%, as veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the upper peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center has conducted over 1,628 telehealth appointments between February and May 2020.
VA Video Connect allows veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Video Connect 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 nationally per day.
The increase at Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center represents a 421% increase over February 2020 numbers. The number of VA Video Connect encounters in primary care has more than tripled since March 2020.
VA is also taking 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, even during these challenging times, VA has and continues to maintain access to high-quality health care for Veterans,” OGJVA Medical Center director Jim Rice said. “As the service becomes more popular, VA remains committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure Veterans have access to care where and when they need it.”
For information about VA’s telehealth services visit connectedcare.va.gov.