The VA Mobile Health Provider Program equips VA health care teams with mobile technology to enhance the way they deliver health care to Veterans. Building upon the successes of My HealtheVet, VA Blue Button and other initiatives, this program aims to improve the health of Veterans by leveraging the power of mobile technology to transform the way clinicians and patients interact.
This program is a collaborative effort under the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the VA Office of Information & Technology (OI&T).
A dedicated VA Mobile Health Provider Program Help Desk is available to assist program participants with technical support for VA-issued mobile devices and/or VA mobile apps. Staff can submit a ticket through the website, http://help.VAMobile.us/, submit a ticket by emailing their issue to email@example.com, or call the Help Desk’s Toll-Free line at 855-500-2025 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET).
The VA Mobile Health Provider Program distributed mobile devices (tablets) to approximately 12,000+ VA care team members at more than 30 VA medical facilities across the country. Each VISN had at least one site with a complement of tablets, and a roughly equal percentage of VISN clinical staff participating.
How were the initial VA medical facilities selected to participate in the VA Mobile Health Provider Program?
The initial locations selected for the pilot program were primarily based on their national Wi-Fi capability and geographical diversity.
At this time, the program only supports mobile devices distributed through the program. Individuals cannot purchase or bring their own device to participate in the program.
Each tablet is configured with an approved email client and software that allows staff to send and receive VA email. Users are able to log in through VPN to access information inside or outside of the firewall. In addition to the VA App Catalog, tablets can connect to commercial App Stores, where care team members can download commercial apps that have been approved by VA security.
All VA-developed apps for VA care teams will be available on the VA’s internal VA App Catalog, which is only accessible with a VA-issued mobile device. A few of these apps will also be accessible to the public on the VA App Store. These apps will allow for mobile-optimized access to real-time VistA/CPRS information. They will also enable care team members to write progress notes, enter orders and complete other clinical tasks.
Can VA care team members request an upgraded version of commercial apps found on the VA App Catalog?
For help on upgrading apps, contact the mobile help desk: 855-500-2025 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET).
Care teams are encouraged to use their mobile device in their daily interactions as much as possible—whether at work, at home or on-the-go. Participants are also requested to evaluate their overall experiences, satisfaction with the apps, and preferences regarding device form factor and size. This feedback is critical to the success of the program, and informs next steps for the program.
The role of the Public Affairs staff is to assist with raising awareness about the benefits of the program to key stakeholders, such as leaders, clinicians, and administrative staff, as well as to Veterans and Caregivers. The program has provided an Outreach Toolkit with several materials available such as fact sheets, infographics, sample social media posts and other promotional materials to help with outreach campaigns.
The VA Mobile Health Provider program enables VA care teams with:
- Convenient access to real-time clinical information
- Patient information in a mobile format that can be viewed throughout the medical center
- Easy access to medical tools at work, home and on-the-go
- Secure communication between patients and providers
- Improved access to patient generated data
Has there been any evaluation conducted about the value and efficiency of the VA-issue mobile devices in the health care setting?
Yes, the VA Product Effectiveness team is in the process of evaluating the initial 18 pilot sites that received mobile devices in 2014. So far they have surveyed eight sites (approximately 1,000 VA staff), and reported that users find great value in mobile access to instant information, VistA and CPRS, particularly when:
- Away from the medical facility, including logging in from home, or elsewhere outside of a VA facility.
- At the medical facility, but not at a workstation, for example at patient rounds, attending meetings or when no workstations are available.
The VA Mobile Health Provider Program has also collected a variety of use cases of how VA care team members are using the devices day-to-day. For example, at the Orlando VAMC, Women’s Clinic Medical Director Dr. Leslee Davis has used her device to educate patients at the point of care, such as using the device’s clear visuals to discuss skin conditions with her patients. At the Tomah VAMC, Hospitalist Dr. Sarah Niles has used her device to place orders in real time directly to the lab, pharmacy or radiology, right from the patient’s bedside. Read other Success Stories here.
In my VA App Catalog, there is an approved commercial app that has several options for upgraded additions and features. How do I request an upgraded version of the app?
Providers are able to request additional apps and upgraded versions of approved apps by visiting: https://vacloud.us/groups/appscreening/wiki/f972a/Mobile_App_Request_Lis...
Yes, training is available in multiple formats and can be found on the program’s website under the “Training” tab at https://mobile.va.gov/providers/training.
- MyVeHU Campus. All users of VA-issued mobile devices are required to take a mandatory training which reinforces VA’s guidelines for protecting VA sensitive data. The training can be accessed through MyVeHU Campus by searching for, “Protecting Privacy and Security While Using Apps from the Public App Store” (session code: #14138).
- VA Genius Bar. There are a variety of materials available for new users with step by step instructions on how to set up their new device: http://vamobile.us/groups/genius/.
- Podcasts. A series of podcasts were developed to familiarize staff with various features of their mobile device, including setting up email and using Citrix to access CPRS. Podcasts are available at http://vamobile.us/groups/9001/blog/.
Yes, please subscribe to our program newsletter, “What’s New with the Mobile Health Provider Program” using the subscription form on the right bar on program’s website.