Phoenix VA Health Care System
TED Brings Latest Technology to Phoenix VA
Telehealth Education Delivered (TED) visited the Carl T. Hayden VA Hospital, Jan. 11, to give providers, service chiefs and Veterans a glimpse into the latest telehealth technology.
“It’s a state-of-the-art truck that is loaded with the newest technology available as part of our effort to expand telehealth here in the Phoenix VA,” said Valentine Rivish, facility telehealth coordinator. “We invited service chiefs, doctors, nurses and anyone throughout the organization to learn about the different types of equipment available and different forms of telehealth.”
Dozens of Phoenix VA employees and Veterans visited the vehicle located outside the Ambulatory Care Center to view the new global medical cart, upgraded with audiology equipment, transportable exam stations and a WallDoc, a wall mounted examination station.
Leslie Fernyhough, telehealth education specialist with Iron Bow Technology, said this is the fourth year TED has visited Phoenix, adding that prior to TED, hospitals shipped equipment and had education specialists fly to their location for demonstrations. However, to save cost and provide VA facilities more access to the latest telehealth technologies, Iron Bow Technology, contracted by the VA to provide telehealth equipment, decided to created TED and drive the technology to all the VA hospitals once a year.
Rivish said it’s important to educate providers and Veterans on the latest telehealth capabilities to better connect patients and doctors when distance separates them. Currently, all community based outpatient clinics within the Phoenix VA Health Care System utilize telehealth to provide better care and access to Veterans.
“This is the technology that allows providers to have appointments with Veterans from a distance,” Fernyhough said. “The VA has been doing this longer than the private sector. Veterans tend to live in remote areas, which is great for peace of mind but not for getting them the services they need. This technology helps by not forcing Veterans to drive two or three hours to their appointments.”
Fernyhough said a provider can perform a full exam with telehealth and for Veterans who don’t need a physical examination, providers can complete appointments with Veterans from the Veteran’s home with video conferencing. She said the goal is bringing services to the Veterans.
Rivish said he and Dr. Hamed Abbaszadegan, chief of clinical informatics, chair a workgroup called Virtual Modality and Telehealth Transformation to work with service chiefs and providers throughout the PVAHCS to increase access to services for Veterans and to decrease the number of specialty consults the VA sends out to the community.
“We want to provide care for our Veterans utilizing our doctors and our equipment,” Rivish said.