Promoting Access Through Complementary eHealth Technologies: Recommendations for VA’s Home Telehealth and Personal Health Record Programs

  • Timothy P. HoganEmail author
  • Bonnie Wakefield
  • Kim M. Nazi
  • Thomas K. Houston
  • Frances M. Weaver
Original Research



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


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.


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


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.


eHealth patient-centered medical home telehealth personal health records veteran 



We would like to thank the organizers of the "Improving Access to VA Care" State of the Art (SOTA) conference held in Arlington, VA, September 21–22, 2010, for the original opportunity to develop this manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

None disclosed


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy P. Hogan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Bonnie Wakefield
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kim M. Nazi
    • 5
  • Thomas K. Houston
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  • Frances M. Weaver
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care & Spinal Cord Injury Quality Enhancement Research InitiativeEdward Hines, Jr. VA HospitalHinesUSA
  2. 2.eHealth Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, National eHealth QUERI Coordinating CenterEdith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans HospitalBedfordUSA
  3. 3.Program in Health Services Research, Stritch School of MedicineLoyola University Health System, Loyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA
  4. 4.VA Health Services Research and Development Center for Comprehensive Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation (CADRE), Iowa City VA Medical CenterIowa CityUSA
  5. 5.Veterans and Consumers Health Informatics Office, Office of Health Information, Veterans Health Administration, US Department of Veterans AffairsWashingtonUSA
  6. 6.Center for Health Quality, Outcomes & Economic Research (CHQOER), Bedford VAMCBedfordUSA
  7. 7.Division of Health Informatics and Implementation ScienceUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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