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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Use Secure Email to Talk with Your Doctor

April 26, 2011

 

Primary Care Nurse Carol Sparks, R.N.  

“I can easily contact patients with lab results, address specific concerns, and even refill medications before they arrive for their next appointment,” said Primary Care Nurse Carol Sparks, R.N. “This time-saving feature is great for both my patients and our clinical staff.”
Photo:  Fran Burke, Public Affairs Specialist

Are you tired of leaving messages or playing phone tag with your VA health care provider? 

A new secure, online communication tool called “Secure Messaging” is now available for Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) through the VA’s My HealtheVet website at www.myhealth.va.gov.

This new communication tool offers guaranteed response to routine matters and a direct line to your health care provider.

With Secure Messaging, patients have 24-hour access to their Health Care Team, feel more in control of their care, and enjoy personalized attention from their health care provider.

In early July 2011, Secure Messaging will also be available at the VA outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City.

For health care providers, this access improves the patient/provider collaboration by increasing the opportunities for information sharing. More importantly, Secure Messaging minimizes telephone tag, saves time, and uses the VA’s electronic patient record system to streamline recordkeeping.

“Securing Messaging enables my patients to reach me whenever it is convenient for them.  They can send a message before they go to work and when they get home, the answer is waiting. This new tool lets the patient focus on what is important to them, instead of waiting for a phone call or their next appointment,” said Ikedieze Chukwu, M.D., Primary Care physician.  “This is an excellent tool that greatly improves communication with my patients.”

If you are a Veteran patient at a VA facility using My HealtheVet, you will notice a new Secure Messaging Tab. You can find out if your health care team is using Secure Messaging by creating a new message. If you see the name of one of your providers as a choice in the “To” field, then you know you can send a message to the health care team led by your provider.

“I can easily contact my patients with lab results, address specific medical concerns, and even refill medications before they arrive for their next appointment,” said Carol Sparks, R.N. “This time-saving feature is great for both my patients and our clinical staff.”

To take advantage of Secure Messaging, register at www.myhealth.va.gov and begin the In-Person Authentication (IPA) process. This ensures your personal information remains secure over the Internet. To complete the IPA process, visit your Primary Care Clinic or the Release of Information Office at MEDVAMC, or any VA outpatient clinic.

For more information about Secure Messaging, contact Curtis Bergeron, My HealtheVet Coordinator, at 713-791-1414, ext. 6348 or curtis.bergeron@va.gov


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Awarded re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2008, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 120,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. The MEDVAMC is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; an award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; VA Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; VA Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; VA Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; and one of the VA’s six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, and Richmond, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged more than one million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2010. For the latest news releases and information about the MEDVAMC, visit www.houston.va.gov.