Open House Showcases Veteran Affairs Telehealth in Oswego County

OSWEGO, N.Y. – For veterans who live hours away from a Veterans Hospital, accessing healthcare used to mean a day-long trip.

For veterans of the Oswego VA Clinic, new technology makes it easier to meet healthcare specialists in the Syracuse Veterans Hospital face-to-face through “Telehealth” technology.

Jennifer Lane, LPN/TCT (Oswego) speaks to Gail Serino, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator (Syracuse) about patient care.
Jennifer Lane, LPN/TCT (Oswego) speaks to Gail Serino, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator (Syracuse) about patient care.

The “Telehealth” system connects patients and doctors through computers and television screens for specialty visits at the patient’s local VA Clinic. These stations are equipped with high-definition cameras, scopes and other instruments allowing the doctor to examine a patient closely by listening to a heartbeat, inspecting the inner ear and even peering into the mouth and throat in real-time interactive video conferencing.

The three modalities of “Telehealth” include Clinic Video Telehealth (CVT), Store and Forward (S&F) and Care Coordination/Home Telehealth (CCHT).

Clinic Video Telehealth (CVT) consists of real-time, interactive video conferencing. Store and Forward Telehealth (S&F) allows for imaging to be uploaded to a specialty doctor for review, diagnosis and/or treatment planning. This includes dermatology, specialty eye care, pathology and wound care.

Care Coordination/Home Telehealth (CCHT) is a special program for Veterans with chronic diseases and symptoms to communicate and send information to the doctor. This communication assists both the doctor and Veteran to keep track and monitor the health condition, making changes as necessary in a patient’s plan of care. This also allows the Veteran to participate in self-management of their chronic illnesses and have an active part in their care.

The Syracuse VA Medical Center has been using this technology for the past two years, with the Oswego VA Clinic joining “Telehealth” in May 2013.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to be part of putting this system online,” said Jennifer Lane, Licensed Practical Nurse, U.S. Navy veteran and the newest member of the Syracuse’s Telehealth Clinical Technician team. “I am able to coordinate specialty care visits for my fellow veterans right here in Oswego, saving the time and cost of travel to Syracuse. Telehealth is a wonderful advancement in medical care, providing access to specialty care that might have not been received otherwise, especially during the winter weather that makes Oswego County famous.”

The Telehealth equipment and capabilities will be showcased in an all day (0800-1600),
open house at the Oswego VA Clinic on July 25.

Oswego’s VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic is located at 437 State Route 104 East, Oswego, and serves veterans in Oswego County as well as Northern Onondaga County, Southern Jefferson County, Northern Cayuga County & Southwest Lewis County.

For more information contact the Oswego VA Clinic; telephone 315-207-0120.