San Francisco VA Health Care System
VA Video Connect Visits at San Francisco VA Health Care System Surpasses 20,000 in 2020
July 31, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased ten-fold, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect during the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) has conducted over 18,700 telehealth appointments between February 2020 and June 2020, and over 20,000 since January 2020. The increase at SFVAHCS represents a 167 percent increase from the same period in 2019.
VA Video Connect allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Video Connect supported Veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safely at home. Usage of video to home services has been increasing since mid-March with peak usage reaching over 29,000 appointments per day.
VA is also taking strides to bridge the digital divide for Veterans who lack the technology or broadband internet connectivity required to participate in VA telehealth services. At the national level, VA is working with strategic partners, through the VA Secretary’s Center of Strategic Partnerships, to increase access to the technology that Veterans need to connect with their VA health care team virtually.
“As we near the three-year anniversary of the launch of VA Video Connect, I am thrilled to see so many utilize this exciting technology. Especially during challenging times like these, any and all efforts to ensure the safety and health of the Veterans we serve is paramount,” said San Francisco VA Health Care System Director Bonnie S. Graham. “While we continue to adjust to this global health pandemic, VA remains committed to ensuring that Veterans have safe access to care where and when they need it.”
MEDIA NOTE: To interview a member of the San Francisco VA Health Care System Telehealth Service team, contact the SFVAHCS Office of Public Affairs at V21SFCPublicAffairs@va.gov.
About San Francisco VA Health Care System
The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) is a comprehensive network that provides health services to Veterans through the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and six community-based outpatient clinics in Santa Rosa, Eureka, Ukiah, Clearlake, San Bruno and downtown San Francisco. The SFVAHCS has a long history of conducting cutting-edge research, establishing innovative medical programs, and providing compassionate care to Veterans. SFVAMC has several National Centers of Excellence in the areas of epilepsy treatment, cardiac surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV and renal dialysis. SFVAMC’s $81 million research program is one of the largest in the Veterans Health Administration. SFVAMC has been affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine for more than 50 years.