TED Truck (Telehealth Demonstration Truck)- April 3, 2017- Grand Junction, CO (KKCO- NBC11)
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)– The VA Medical Center is using technology to bring healthcare to patients.
The VA Medical Center said ‘Telehealth’ will provide better care and access to care for veterans.
On Monday, the hospital had a Telehealth Education Demonstration, also known as TED, available for nurses and staff.
Using Telehealth, patients can go to the VA Medical Center in Grand Junction, and use the system to receive care or treatment from any doctor at any VA hospital across the nation.
VA officials said it’s a time saver for the patient and it’s changing the way medical care is provided.
“It’s better to stay on top of that and also it’s better for the patient’s outcome,” said Barbara Kent, a nurse at the Grand Junction VA.
The TED van was in town on Monday to train VA medical officials on what the program entails. Through technology, Telehealth can provide all types of care from one location.
“They can be seen in four clinics from the same room,” said Zach Hamilton, a Telehealth technician. “I call it a one-stop shop when it comes to medical care.”
The system eliminates numerous trips to different clinics for different medical needs.
“We can get you on a live real-time connection with those specialists who are maybe in Denver, and get you the same quality of care that those vets out there have,” said Ben Engel, a trainer with TED.
In 2015, more than 670,000 veterans used Telehealth across the nation.
The program also offers care from a veteran’s own home through the use of tablets.
“It makes it so handy for all those rural people who have to come so long so far,” Kent said.
Engel says they can call patients on a tablet from the hospital, to eliminate the number of trips veterans need to make to receive medical care.
Zach Hamilton, who is a care provider and veteran, said the program works especially well for mental health care. He said doing virtual visits rather than face-to-face office visits can relieve stress.
“Being able to be seen at home on a tablet with a provider in the comfort of their own home is really beneficial for their care,” said Hamilton.
While some are skeptical about this new era of medicine, once they use it, technicians say they are hooked.
“They love it, and they want more,” Hamilton said.
The goal of the program is to ensure everybody gets the same quality care, no matter where they live.
Telehealth can help with anything form dermatology to vision. The VA also offers tablets for patients to monitor blood pressure and weight for preventative care.
Nearly 12 percent of the 5.6 million veterans who receive healthcare from the VA use this program.
The TED van will continue on to a VA hospital in Nevada to continue to train healthcare providers.