VA enables veterans to access medical images online

The Department of Veterans Affairs has released a new feature available via its My HealtheVet portal that provides veterans with online access to their medical images and associated study reports.

The VA Medical Images and Reports feature on My HealtheVet was first introduced at several of the VA’s medical centers starting in August 2017. Overall, feedback from veterans has been positive, and it is now widely available, according to the agency.

Veterans with a premium My HealtheVet account—which gives members the highest level of access—can now view, download and print their radiology studies, such as X-rays, mammograms, MRIs and CT scans from the VA’s electronic health record.

In addition, veterans can copy these images to a CD, DVD, USB flash drive, personal subscription service such as iCloud and DropBox, or any portable drive they choose—and, share them with physicians within or outside the VA healthcare system.

“With VA Medical Images and Reports, patients have the option of obtaining their images and reports online, eliminating the need to visit a VA facility to acquire a copy of their information,” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie in a written statement. “This feature aligns with VA Blue Button’s concept, which simplifies patient access to their personal health information by allowing them to retrieve it securely online.”

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According to the VA, veterans who want to view Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) images—the international standard to transmit, store, retrieve, print, process and display medical imaging information—may install a free viewer on their computer to view these image files.

“Veterans can view a list of accessible radiology studies, which are available in My HealtheVet, three calendar days after the study report has been verified,” according to the announcement. “When a request for a specific study is completed, veterans can view a lower resolution thumbnail copy of the images and the associated radiology report online, or download a .ZIP file that contains the report and diagnostic quality images. For studies with large files, veterans can choose to receive an email notification when the download request is complete.”

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