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VA Wants Veterans To Use Online Health Services As Much As Possible

OGJ VA Medical Center


During the COVID-19 outbreak, veterans have options to take care of their health care needs without going to a VA facility.

To address veterans’ most-urgent needs first, the Iron Mountain- based Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center asks that veterans use online tools for routine or non-urgent questions, if they have access to them.

Associate Medical Center Director Rebecca Strini says they're following the recommendations from the State of Michigan regarding social distancing so they've looked at other options for providing care....

"So we've looked at telephone appointments as well as what we call VA Video Connect Va Video Connect allows the patient to call into their provider request an appointment, then the provider contacts the patient through an app. Then they're able to continue with the appointment through video using current technology, a cell phone, tablet or computer...."

Strini says they were using VA Video Connect prior to the COVID-19 outbreak for about two years. She says during this unusual time, they're relying on it more than they have before. She says in some cases, this type of arrangement is a positive....

"Maybe somebody who has PTSD may not feel comfortable coming in to the facility to see their provider. VA Video Connect is a way for them to connect with their providers without having to come into the medical facility and feel uncomfortable..."

Strini says routine prescription refills are another example. They also provide advanced messaging as well for veterans.

Enrolled Veterans who have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, should call the nurse triage line at 800-215-8262 ( extension 17066,) before visiting their provider at the VA medical center or local VA clinic.

For more information about VA’s Connected Care technologies, visit connectedcare.va.gov .

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