Veteran Receives Medical Advice on the Go - James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital - Tampa, Florida
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James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital - Tampa, Florida

 

Veteran Receives Medical Advice on the Go

Veteran Josef Mendez used the VA Health Chat app to get medical advice on his mobile device.

Veteran Josef Mendez used the VA Health Chat app to get medical advice on his mobile device.

Monday, April 19, 2021
When U.S. Army Veteran Josef Mendez Lopez first heard about the VA Health Chat app, he was curious.

Through VA Health Chat, Veterans enrolled for care at a VA facility in VISN 8 may chat online with Clinical Contact Center staff members to ask nonurgent health questions, schedule appointments, ask about prescriptions, and more. For Mendez, who works full time while pursuing additional education, VA Health Chat seemed like a convenient option for receiving health care.

So the next time Mendez needed medical advice for symptoms he was experiencing, he decided to download VA Health Chat.

“I opened the app, signed in with my My HealtheVet Premium account credentials, and from there it was easy to follow the prompts and begin using the app,” Mendez said. “I was able to chat with a nurse within one minute.

“We talked about my symptoms, the nurse gave me some recommendations, and then she connected me with my primary care provider to take it from there. I was surprised at how efficient, convenient, and friendly the whole experience was.”

For Mendez, it’s also a matter of preference. It’s easier for him to chat online than to call and speak with Clinical Contact Center staff. From his cellphone’s home screen, Mendez can launch the app and start chatting from wherever he is. He doesn’t need to find a private place for a phone conversation. VA Health Chat enables him to fit care into his busy schedule.

“With VA Health Chat, I’m able to respond to chats as they come in, without having to completely stop what I’m doing,” said Mendez. “Chatting with a Clinical Contact Center staff member feels as personal and friendly as talking to a nurse inside a VA clinic. But I can do so on the go or from the comfort of my home.”

And here’s a bonus for Mendez: The VA Health Chat app keeps a secure record of his chat interactions so that Mendez can refer to them later.

“With VA Health Chat, I was able to look at the recommendations the nurse gave me and refresh my memory before speaking to my provider at my next appointment,” Mendez said.

Mendez recommends VA Health Chat to all Veterans who receive care at a VA facility in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, even those who might not normally text or chat online.

“VA Health Chat increases access to care for many Veterans like me. If I need to use other methods, I will. But the VA Health Chat app is my first choice for scheduling appointments or asking a question I forgot to bring up in my appointment because I know that I can receive care easily and effectively and then get on with my day.”

VA Health Chat is available on the VA App Store and through the VA Launchpad for Veterans app. It is also available for download on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Chat hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, excluding federal holidays. Veterans preferring to speak to a Clinical Contact Center staff member may call (877) 741-3400 24/7/365.


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