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Telehealth expansion at Naples, Florida, VA clinic

Improvements in technology have helped with the expansion of telehealth. Previously, Veterans would need to travel to a facility that had Clinical Video Teleconferencing technology and would connect through the video chat with a provider at another location.

Now, telehealth services have been expanded to support Veterans at the Naples VA Clinic.

“Following the end of the global pandemic, we were able to move forward with this project that doubles our capacity,” said Telehealth Coordinator Katrina Pettus. “In addition to Tele Eye, Tele Dermatology and audiology services, we are now able to offer telehealth options for mental health or other specialty care appointments.”

“Now we can work in terms of off-campus connections with Veterans who use iPads and smartphones,” said Connected Care Supervisor David Frazier. “First, it gets the Veteran in front of a provider quicker and, second, it allows the Veteran to have that interaction closer to home, which makes it more convenient for them.”

“We can get Veterans in front of a provider quickly and more conveniently.”

There are also other options telehealth offers which are not limited to teleconferencing.

“Telehealth encompasses my HealtheVet, the Digital Divide Program and other services including Tele Wound Care,” Pettus added. “Veterans and their families should speak to their providers about these to determine the conditions that apply to this option for their future health care appointments.”

“Often, Veterans may have follow-up appointments with other clinics, but instead of having to do all the traveling and waiting for appointments, we can get them in front of a provider quickly and more conveniently and sometimes even from their own home,” Frazier said.

The C.W. Bill Young VA, Lee County Health Care Center and six of seven VA clinics all have telehealth options. The new Sebring VA clinic, which is under construction, will offer the service to Veterans seen at that clinic once the project is complete.

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