New data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shows a substantial increase in the use of online VA healthcare tools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders.
My HealtheVet – an online VA healthcare tool – saw a 24.1 percent increase from January to June 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. Veterans and providers exchanged more than 11.6 million secure messages through the healthcare tool during this period.
“VA’s long-standing priorities to make sure Veterans have a convenient way to manage their health through telehealth technologies is proving successful,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said. “Investing in the development of the infrastructure early gives us the ability to quickly adapt to the current health care environment.”
Further, veterans were able to fill more than 11.2 million prescriptions through MyHealtheVet during the January-June 2020 period, which was an 8.1 percent increase from the same period in 2019. In addition to refilling prescriptions and exchanging secure messages with their healthcare providers, veterans can also review their VA medical records through the online tool.
Back in May, the VA released a new chatbot feature – which is integrated with the My HealtheVet’s secure message portal – to respond to frequently asked COVID-19 questions.
“At VA, our number one priority is delivering excellent customer service to our Veterans,” VA CTO Charles Worthington said at the time. “This product is a great example of VA’s commitment to using new technologies to improve our services.”