Promoting access through complementary eHealth technologies: recommendations for VA's Home Telehealth and personal health record programs

J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Nov;26 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):628-35. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1765-y.


Background: Many healthcare organizations have embraced eHealth technologies in their efforts to promote patient-centered care, increase access to services, and improve outcomes.

Objective: Using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a case study, this paper presents two specific eHealth technologies, the Care Coordination Home Telehealth (CCHT) Program and the My HealtheVet (MHV) personal health record (PHR) portal with integrated secure messaging, and articulates a vision of how they might be implemented as part of a patient-centric healthcare model and used in a complementary manner to enhance access to care and to support patient-centered care.

Methods: Based on our experience and ongoing work with both programs, we offer a series of recommendations for pursuing and ultimately achieving this vision.

Conclusion: VA's CCHT and MHV programs are examples of an expanding repertoire of eHealth applications available to patients and healthcare teams. VA's new patient-centric healthcare model represents a significant shift in the way that services are delivered and a profound opportunity to incorporate eHealth technologies like the CCHT and MHV programs into clinical practice to increase access to care, and to ensure the responsiveness of such technologies to the preferences and circumstances of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Patient Care Management
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Telemedicine*
  • United States
  • Veterans Health / standards*