For military veterans, service did not come without sacrifice. As of 2018, there are more than 6 million patients being treated in VA hospitals across the country. Many of these patients, especially those in behavioral health facilities, remain in the hospitals for extended periods to complete their treatment. Administrators at the Pittsburgh VAMC noticed a growing disconnect between behavioral health patients and the technology-driven world around them. In late 2012, they started looking for a solution to help safely restore that connection, while also offering patients a form of diversion to naturally relieve the stress induced by day-to-day challenges.
To meet their needs, DynaTouch developed the TIPS Vets Connected™ kiosk to provide VA Behavioral Health patients with secure and controlled, self-service access to eBenefits, MyHealtheVet, behavioral health websites, and more — allowing inpatients to view and manage their own benefits and accounts, access their own health records, and research information about their health conditions. Content is presented in an easy-to-use interface, with rich graphics that entice patients to engage, and large button selections that make it fast and easy for them to do so. The units even grant access to certain computer games, allowing patients to have fun while improving their memory, spatial reasoning, and hand-eye coordination.
“I watched one of our patients discreetly for a few moments and saw him enjoying the process of discovering his own skill and capability. It was wonderful to see!” said a Nurse Manager at the Pittsburgh VAMC. The kiosks truly provide a feeling of independence that has proven to benefit the recovery process.
The kiosks have stood the test of time and been very actively used since they were installed in 2014. The components are housed in ruggedized, anti-ligature enclosure carefully designed for the health and safety of the veterans, with special features to eliminate the risk of patients harming themselves or damaging the kiosks. As of 2018, all nine units at the Pittsburgh VAMC are still running strong with an average of over 1,000 sessions a month — nearly 50,000 sessions total — and still counting!