My DH got authenticated at the RO for this VA service a few months ago. It’s great for checking blood lab results, refilling meds and sending messages to his VA primary doctor.
Since a veteran’s sworn testimony is rejected so often, this service may be useful for evidence in future claims–providing you don’t delete your relevant SENT messages/or replies you receive from your VA health team. (If you delete a message by mistake, it will go into the Deleted folder.)
Keep it orderly. An example: 1. Create personal folders under My Folders. Click Add new folder. In Folder Name type: Refills; click Submit. From Inbox, check a RX-related email in tiny box. From the top drop-down menu, “move selected to” Refills; click MOVE button. Check folder in left sidebar to see if action completed. You can edit/rename folders later.
Why I like this service:
- Each email has a unique ID number, is dated and timed (Central Time).
- In the SENT box, you can see if your email has been read!
- This is basic and intuitive email app uses larger fonts for easy reading.
- You can print your emails (which contain email threads). No printer? Use a screen capture tool such as the PC snipping tool and save emails as images on your hard drive.
- Subject lines are clear and get directed to the right person: General Inquiry, Appointments, Medications, Test. You can send now or save as a draft.
- Application limitations: No forwarding. No attachments.
Today my DH sent a secure message requesting a new hearing test and hearing aid adjustment. He reported that his hearing has gotten worse since his last test 3 years ago.
Last week he requested a new pill cutter from the pharmacy and received it promptly via mail. Meds are refilled promptly.
When his doctor was on vacation, his recent ultra scan results were emailed by a nurse after he made an inquiry. Less frustration waiting.
This is a vast improvement over telephone communications alone. Phone calls can’t be used as evidence, unless you record them (ex. with Google Voice). With selected VA Secure Messages to your health care team (ID’d, dated and timed) as back-up to your sworn testimony, you’re in better shape.
If veterans use the system for frivolous emails, or over-use the system, it could get shut down as the VA is wont to do.
Be careful what you write because your own written words can/will be used against you! (“Veteran emailed his doctor on Oct 6, 2012 #22675 that he is feeling almost back to new after new medication began. He reports laying a new roof on his house and harvested and split three trees for fire wood.” Have someone read the email before you hit send.