My Healthe Vet/ Secured Messaging: Increasing Healthcare Access to Multiple Sclerosis Veterans

Thursday, May 29, 2014
Trinity Exhibit Hall
Jazmin Torres, RN, BSN , Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Service, VA Health Care System, East Orange, NJ
Carol Gibson-Gill, MD , Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence--East, NJ Region, VA New Jersey Healthcare System, East Orange, NJ

Background: Telemedicine is described as using advanced technologies as a means to exchange health information and provide healthcare services across geographic, time, social and cultural barriers. Telehealth used to be focused on rural health but is now on the radar of CEOS of HealthCare systems all over the country and remote monitoring is reportedly used by over 200,000 patients nationwide. Providing care to veterans with  Multiple Sclerosis can be challenging due to the complex nature of their diagnosis and the wide-range impact is has on the patient, their caregivers, families, etc, It also remains a very costly condition to manage. Cost can be measured in dollars as well as the emotional and other stressors it may have on the patient and the family unit.


  1. Demonstrate how the use of MHV/SM increases access to health care team.
  2. Participants will identify 3 benefits of MHV/SM for patients and providers.

Methods: This VA’s SCI/D Center has had success with using Telehealth technologies since 2000 as a way to increasing access to care and decrease the burden to patient and caregivers.My HealtheVet is a web-based application that creates an online environment where Veterans, family, and clinicians may come together to optimize Veterans’ health care. Using MHV, veterans create and use their Personal Health Record to make informed health care choices, stay healthy, and obtain services when needed. Secured Messaging is only for non-urgent communication with health care team.  Veterans can request appointments, prescription renewals, ask health or administrative questions. Patients can communicate directly with health care workers about their condition and /or needs. This saves them from trying to track down their providers by phones and receive response in a timely manner.


We present the results of a sample size of our 28 patients and 5 provider populations who use My Healthe Vet/Secure Messaging.

100% of the veterans reported:

1)    Increased communication with health care team.

2)    They found the the My Healthe Vet website easy to use and useful.

3      Increased in quality of care.

4      Veteran are able to order there medications.  Review results of labs-Ray and MRI’s from home.

100% of the providers who used the technology reported:

1)      They found it more helpful and not burdensome.

2)      They found it did not take up much time.

3)      They would absolutely continue to use the technology.

4)      They would recommend this program to other patients.

5)      It helped them address patients and caregivers’ needs in a timely fashion.


Use of My Healthe Vet/ Secured Messaging and home is an asset to decreasing health care burden and improve the care of patients with multiple sclerosis. Providers and the patients benefit and report improved satisfaction .We recommend the use of this virtual care environment  by those providing care to these patients with complex medical conditions.