VA North Texas Health Care System
Now Available: Secure E-mails between Patients and Doctors
Have you ever thought how great it would be to communicate directly with your primary care doctor? VA North Texas makes it possible through MyHealtheVet's secure messaging. It is yet another way for veteran patients to access certain health care benefits in a convenient manner.
This technology allows patients to communicate directly with their primary care health care team. Patients can use it to make requests and inquiries that once meant traveling to see the doctor in person or waiting for a call back.
This unique communication tool has a variety of benefits for patients as well as for health care professionals. Patients can contact their primary care physician and health care team and communicate with them about any health-related questions or concerns. They can request consultations, appointments and renewals of medications. Patients can also request test results and as an added benefit, receive a doctor's explanation.
Physicians and nurses benefit from secure messaging by being able to work more efficiently. Dr. Salahuddin Kazi, Chief Health Informatics Officer at VA North Texas, says secure messaging allows the health care team to work without interruption from live phone calls and they can respond to and internally route messages easily for timely and effective completion. As for what it can do for patients he said, "Secure messaging in the health care industry is what online banking is to the financial industry - a tool to conduct business in the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you."
With more veterans enrolling for health care benefits, VA North Texas is committed to meeting their health care needs. Because it's quick and easy, secure messaging allows clinicians to serve a larger number of patients. If a patient needs to see their primary care provider in person, they are encouraged to do so. However, if they can save a trip by using secure messaging, it is an added bonus.
"Secure messaging does save patients from making unnecessary trips to the facility," said Cathrine England, MyHealtheVet Coordinator for VA North Texas. "For minor things like requesting renewals of medications, a patient can now use it [secure messaging] to do so and get a response in less than 24 hours."
As the number of veterans returning home from active duty continues to grow, VA North Texas expects an increase in health care enrollment and in MyHealtheVet enrollment. Since its roll-out in March 2010, more than 5,300 secure messages have been successfully transmitted between patients and primary care health care teams at VA North Texas.
Gaining from secure messaging is simple. First, veterans honorably discharged from the military must become a patient with VA North Texas Health Care System. Then, enroll in MyHealtheVet. Both can be started by visiting www.northtexas.va.gov. Interested in learning more about MyHealtheVet and secure messaging? Call Cathrine England at (214) 857-1721 or visit www.myhealth.va.gov.