VA app provides a personalized healthcare experience

Veterans who are also VA employees play an important role in disseminating information about VA’s virtual care technology. Her manager, Human Resources Management Systems, in Northport, Virginia, New York, Victoria Backus, uses her unique perspective to promote her VA app to fellow veterans.

Backus attributes the success of VA telemedicine in part to the VA app being tailored to the needs of veterans. As a veteran, she uses many VA apps to manage her care. For example, she usually meets with her VA provider through her VA Video Connect, VA’s secure video conferencing app.

“I have to take multiple buses to get to the nearest VA facility. I was able to take care and receive ongoing care,” she said.

Backus uses the MOVE Coach, Mindfulness Coach, and PTSD Coach apps to manage his physical and mental health. She often recommends these apps to veterans, but her favorite is Mindfulness Coach.

Mindfulness Coaches offer self-guided programs designed to help veterans understand and gradually introduce mindfulness practices.

App: “Like having a therapist in your pocket.”

“It’s like having a therapist in your pocket. If you need a little intervention and it can’t always be done over the phone, the Mindfulness Coach app puts you in control,” she said.

Backus uses the VA tablet to access the VA app and connect to the VA provider. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was a telemedicine clinician training veterans to use tablets. Backus says veterans are more connected than ever because they’ve learned to use these technologies.

Female veteran and app manager
Veteran Victoria Backus

“The VA was the first and largest medical system to do telemedicine, and I can’t stress enough how many lives it has saved,” she said. Currently, as her TMS Domain Manager, she ensures that her members of VA staff are learning about her VA telemedicine.

“We track the entire training and learning history of our doctors, nurses and secretaries to help Northport, Virginia stay compliant nationwide. I can do it,” she said.

Backus enjoys her role in Northport, Virginia. She establishes and maintains connections with veterans in virtual modalities, often providing reassurance to veterans adopting new technology.

“When veterans say, ‘I can’t believe I’m on screen with you,’ it reminds me that I’m a veteran too. They can see their providers this way.”

Visit the VA App Store for more information.

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