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Making It Easier For Vets To Access Health Records

Veterans of the Shreveport now have more convenient way to “talk” to their VA health care providers using their VA Personal Health Record (PHR), My HealtheVet, through a new feature called Secure Messaging SM). Veteran patients with an upgraded My HealtheVet account can use SM, which allows Veteran patients more freedom to make health care decisions — and to seek medical advice at a time and place that work best for them, based on their preferences. Using My HealtheVet and Secure Messaging puts Veteran patients in the driver’s seat of their health care experience, giving them the ability to communicate with their participating VA health care teams between visits.

“This online feature provides Veteran patients who have an upgraded My HealtheVet account with almost real-time communication with patients’ health care teams. This means that there’s no waiting for advice until the next check-up and no more waiting on hold.  This also provides patients with the ability to make changes to medications with a few keystrokes. Secure Messaging helps Veterans, as well as  their families and Caregivers, take a more active role in their health care and well-being,” said Shirley M. Bealer, Overton Brooks VA Medical Center Director. “We hope that Veterans will take advantage of these resources.”

Through a simple process, My HealtheVet users can upgrade their accounts by selecting the “Quick Link” box on the home page.  Users should follow the on-screen instructions, ensuring that “VA patient” is selected, and then proceed to the Secure Messaging opt-in prompt.

My HealtheVet is VA’s award-winning website that offers Veterans secure access to portions of their VA health care records anywhere and anytime. Its Web-based tools give users greater control over their care and wellness, helping them become active partners in their health care. In addition to allowing Veterans access to their records, My HealtheVet lets them save, print and share their health information using VA Blue Button, refill VA prescription(s) online and track their health activities, among other functions. Veterans who upgrade their accounts, free of charge, can not only opt in to SM to communicate electronically with their VA health care teams between visits, but can also view VA appointments, get VA Wellness Reminders, access VA lab results and more. Secure Messaging is for non-urgent or emergent messages and most messages are answered within three business days or sooner. Veterans should always dial 911 for emergency care.

“VA is dedicated to providing Veterans with the best experience possible, both at VA facilities and online,” said Theresa Hancock, director, My HealtheVet National Program. “The local efforts to promote Secure Messaging and all My HealtheVet features help to further enhance Veterans’ ability to access the information that they need, when they need it.” 

For more information, contact Amy Ardoin, My HealtheVet Coordinator, at (318) 990-4745 or visit www.myhealth.va.gov or www.va.gov.

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