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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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STVHCS Dr.'s using My HealtheVet Secure Messaging

Veteran using secure messaging

This is a screen shot of what Veterans will see when using secure messaging through My HealtheVet. Photo by Robin Risemas, Office of Public Affairs.

By Nenette Madla
Thursday, January 13, 2011

STVHCS improving communication through Secure Messaging

The STVHCS is improving 2-way communication among VA patients and VA health care teams through an online communication tool known as Secure Messaging. The program is available through My HealtheVet (MHV), which is an online Personal Health Record that can be utilized by users through Internet access anywhere.  Veterans can access their health information, resources, and most importantly, Veterans become more active in managing their health care.  VA patients and their health care providers communicate with each other on non-urgent health related information through a secure communication tool that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Some benefits for Secure Messaging are the partnership created between the patient and their health care team, and it also reduces the need for telephone calls and waiting on hold. Most of all, the timely response from the health care team. 

Stephen E. Syputa, a STVHCS patient and volunteer is currently enrolled in the My HealtheVet Program and uses Secure Messaging.  “This is preparing for the future generation,” stated Syputa. “It’s pushing health care in the right direction – especially with military retirees. They’re all computer, text messaging and email savvy.”  Syputa is able to refill medication(s), obtain basic information about specific drug interactions, and he can even update his personal information.  Syputa discovered that his medication was no longer active.  It lists medication names, the number of refills remaining, the refill status and the active status. In reviewing his profile he discovered that he had not seen his Internal Medicine Provider. He submitted a message through Secure Messaging asking for assistance to see a provider in order to renew his medication and within a couple of hours he received a response with options for appointment availabilities.  His medication was reordered and he was scheduled to be seen within two days.  “It was fantastic to be able to see a providers within two days,” stated Syputa, “Overall, it was wonderful to have easily interacted with the IM department and to have my needs met so quickly and efficiently.”

Veterans interested in registering with My HealtheVet may do so at www.myhealth.va.gov and selecting the Register Today button to begin the registration process. Part of the registration process requires visiting the Release of Information Office at ALMD or seeing a Health Benefits Advisor to obtain an upgraded account known as In-Person Authentication (IPA). In order to comply with VA policy and to protect the Veteran’s identity, a one-time IPA process is required.  This is to verify the Veteran’s identity, in-person.  For additional information, you may contact the STVHCS My HealtheVet Coordinator, Genevieve Joson at (210) 616-8466.

 

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