Columbia VA Health Care System
July 6, 2020
Columbia VA surpasses 27,000 video visits in 2020
VA Video Connect visits increase over 1,000% nationwide during COVID-19 pandemic
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to Veterans’ homes increased over 1,000 percent, as Veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect (VVC) during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Columbia, S.C., the Columbia VA Health Care System (HCS) has conducted more than 27,790 telehealth video appointments between January and June 2020.
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 nationwide.
“I couldn’t be more satisfied with using the VA’s video service for my appointments,” said Jason New, an army Veteran enrolled at the Columbia VA HCS. “Being able to see and speak to my providers from the convenience of my own home has been a huge benefit in managing my busy schedule to receive my medical care.”
The increase at the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center represents a 1,325 percent increase from the same time period last year. Other telehealth milestones from the Columbia VA include:
- Conducting nearly 16,000 video appointments last month (a record-breaking high), which represents a 4,800 percent increase in one month.
- Using VVC for 13,003 unique patients since January, which is a 1,657 percent increase from the same time last year.
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.
“During these challenging times, the Columbia VA has and continues to maintain access to high-quality health care for veterans,” said David Omura, director and chief executive officer for the Columbia VA HCS. “As the telehealth and VA Video Connect become more popular, we remain committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure veterans have access to care where, and when they need it.”
MEDIA: For queries or more information related to this release, please email vhacmsdornPA@va.gov or call Columbia VA Health Care System Public Affairs at 803-776-4000 ext. 6519.