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VA Launches CareGiver Pilot Program, Giving 1000 iPads to Families of Veterans–IT Infrastructure Innovation Work In Progre

Posted Jul 17 2013 3:02pm

This looks interesting and is obviously developed to provide better care and of course information.  The big question with using a pilot is to find out “will they use it”.  We see a lot of that with the over loaded medial apps we have out there today.  A group of 4 different software companies were use to create the dashboard and app, one from the financial sector contributed which outsources a some of their development to India.  You can also visit the VA site and find out more about it.

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Soon you will also be able to make online appointments with the VA and this too is in pilot mode with the mobile apps. The CareGiver program is there to help the families of Veterans who have major health issues.  Here’s a video on how the appointments will work.  Video visits and telephone visits are also going to be accessible.  Additional videos on “how to” are located here at the VA site.

A government contractor, called LHI, which is a subsidiary of United Healthcare actively solicits via the website to find additional doctors also participates in the VA program with disability exams for services outside the VA facilities .  When you look at the technologies of the mobile solution one might wonder how this connects to the LHI program as doctors need to learn to use the LHI dashboard to submit medical information.  It is called “In Clinic” services.  You can also watch the video here describing those services here  A couple years ago before the United purchase, the VA awarded another big contract to a United subsidiary.

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The VA information system is huge and recently with the conversion of the Tri-Care contract to United on the west coast there have been some issues, so again being the technology company United is with an abundance of reports and analytics that hit us all the time as well as  building the new federal data hub via another subsidiary they own, how long before the pilot here goes beyond the VA facilities.  I guess we will have to wait and see on how the pilot works before appointments and other capabilities go to this application when those with disabilities need services outside the VA. 

And don’t forget the Blue Button whereby you can download your medical records if you are a veteran.  Here’s a good back post on how it worked for one military officer when the hospital records were down.

VA Can Now Use the “Blue Button” to Download Their Data from Their PHR (Personal Health Record)

Time will tell if this works and it’s too bad the VA gets beat up all the time with the DOD medical record integration as you do have to take in additional services and computer code of pilots like this into the over all process and again as mentioned above with the LHI division of United, having to get the records from private doctors under contract with and have them placed in the VA medical records so the VA doctors can see what is done outside their facilities. 

It’s not as simple as many of those on the Hill seem to think with demanding deadlines to be met as scheduled “short order code kitchen burned down a few years ago”.  Here’s a few back links below on that topic and is it any wonder these 2 key executives (VA CTO and CIO) earlier this year held up the white flat and left?  They have a lot of IT infrastructure updates and innovation coming from all different directions not to mention the complexities of dealing with commercial health insurers as well.  BD 

VA Claims System Still Has a Large Back Log- Software development and Implementation Working to Correct But All Things Take Even More Time Today With Complexities
VA To Integrate Authentidate Telehealth Solutions with VistA EHR Medical Records System For Remote Patient Monitoring
Speed Up Rate of Change in Health IT?–“Short Order Code Kitchen Burned Down a Few Years Ago and There Was No Fire Sale”..IT Infrastructure Chance and Revisions Takes a Lot of ”Code”, “Time” and “ Most Importantly Money”


The Department of Veterans Affairs has fully launched its pilot, announced last year , in which it’s distributing 1,000 iPads to family caregivers of veterans loaded with 10 specially-created apps.

“There are three things that we’re looking at in the pilot,” said Kathleen Frisbee, Director of Web and Mobile Solutions in the Veterans Health Administration. ”The first is the impact of the iPads on caregivers’ stress and burden. We’re looking at the historical stress and burden scores we collect through our home visits on those that have the iPad versus those that don’t. The second is looking at caregiver preparedness and trying to understand the impact iPads can have on that. And finally we’re looking at the characteristics of caregivers that predict use of the iPad. It’s trying to understand the audience, what made people use it versus why they didn’t use it.”

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