VA chief outlines five priorities at ATA’s Edge 2017

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin discussed last week the agency’s objectives for using technology going forward. Speaking at the American Telemedicine Association’s Edge 2017 Fall Forum in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Shulkin listed his five priorities for “fixing” the Department of Veterans Affairs. These priorities are increased patient choice, systems modernization, improved service timeliness, world-class foundational service, and suicide prevention. “Our mission is to take care of those who serve the country,” Shulkin said. He noted that telehealth plays a key roll in the agency’s efforts to improve timeliness and access issues. “This is a strategy that VA is growing and investing in and believes is essential to solving this priority of timeliness of services,” Shulkin said. The VA published on Oct. 2 new rule that would let veterans to receive care wherever they are, as long as they have internet access. In August, the agency also said it would launch a nationwide rollout of its VA Video Connect app, which enables providers and patients to connect via live video on a computer, smartphone, or tablet device. The American Medical Association (AMA) has applauded the new rule. In a statement, Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., chairman-elect of the AMA’s Board of Trustees, noted the VA “has a unique federally controlled healthcare system with essential safeguards” that can assure high care quality for patients.

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