Boise VA Medical Center
Helping Sec. Shulkin Provide Telehealth Visits
Behind the Scenes: Helping Secretary Shulkin Provide Telehealth Visits
The Office of Connected Care Communications team recently interviewed Matthew Rogers, Virtual Integrated Multisite Patient Aligned Care Team (V-IMPACT ) Clinical Operations Director and PA-C at the Boise VA Medical Center (Idaho), about his experience with setting up Dr. Shulkin’s Telehealth visits.
Matthew Rogers was recently charged with turning VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin’s office at VA Central Office (VACO) into a fully equipped TelePrimary Care site. It was no small task considering that VACO is not a VA hospital or clinic and there was not a previous need for that type of technical expertise.
“We had to sort through technical issues including stethoscope servers, credentials across state lines, and technical difficulties such as differences in CPRS versions between the East Coast and Boise,” said Rogers. “I was highly motivated to make conducting Telehealth visits a seamless process for Dr. Shulkin because I see how great it is every day as a TelePrimary Care provider.”
Once Rogers finished troubleshooting issues and setting up all the necessary software and equipment, Dr. Shulkin, from his VACO office in Washington D.C., successfully conducted a Telehealth visit with his Veteran patient at a VA clinic in Oregon.
As with any clinic visit in-person or by telehealth, Dr. Shulkin reviewed the patient’s medical record in CPRS such as prior urologist consults, recent labs, lab trends, vital signs, medications, and any pending consults. Once Dr. Shulkin finished collecting the patient’s history, he sent an instant message to the nurse physically located in the Oregon clinic to let her know that he was ready to exam the patient. The nurse then entered the room with the patient and followed the instructions from Dr. Shulkin to operate the otoscope, dermatoscope, and stethoscope for the exam.
While the exam was taking place, Dr. Shulkin realized the patient would benefit from a consult from another VA provider that could better serve the Veteran’s current condition. With a single push of a button a VA psychologist was brought into a now three-way video visit with Dr. Shulkin (located in Washington D.C.) the psychologist (located in Boise, ID), and the patient (located at a rural clinic in Oregon). This seamless process exemplifies what the VA’s new Virtual Integrated Multi-Site Patient Aligned Care Team (V-IMPACT) can accomplish.
According to Rogers, the Veteran left relieved and very satisfied with his visit, which was with two different VA providers, working from two different VA locations, and provided solely by TelePrimary Care technology.
Rogers is very impressed with Dr. Shulkin’s dedication to conducting Telehealth visits.
“We don’t know how Dr. Shulkin has the time to do this. I believe the fact that he still practices and wants to experience the challenges we may have is remarkable, and shows his level of support for Telehealth,” Rogers said.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, approximately 12 percent of the more than 5.8 million Veterans who received VA care, received at least one element of their care was through telehealth. In total, more than 702,000 Veterans participated in more than 2.17 million telehealth encounters of care, with the majority of these services connecting a patient at a VA facility with a physician at another VA facility.
For more information on VA Telehealth Services, visit https://connectedcare.va.gov/.