British Can Learn from VA on Telehealth

Joseph Conn | Modern Healthcare | January 19, 2012

A report by a London-based, physician-led think tank concludes that the British National Health Service would do well to emulate the telehealth services developed by the Veterans Health Administration, the healthcare operation of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department.

The not-for-profit reporting group, in its 22-page report, "Telehealth—What can the NHS learn from experience at the U.S. Veterans Health Administration?" finds that "as a fully integrated, national healthcare system that is both funded and operated by the federal government, the (VA) has many parallels with the NHS."

Telehealth serves 50,000 VA patients, the authors noted, making the VA the "world's No.1 provider of telehealth at scale." Significant future growth in the deployment of telehealth services is expected, and telehealth at the VA "represents a vital element in the shift towards more home-based care, reducing the imbalance between hospital and primary-care spending and making better use of scarce clinical resources,” they said...