VA Online Program Lets Vets Take Charge of their Health — from Home
Nov 1, 2011


“You don’t have to stand in line.” — Bernard Gibson, Veteran

“That’s an outstanding site.” — Jack MacFadden, Veteran

“It saves me a great deal of time from having to go into the VA Medical Center.” — Margo Ellis, Veteran

“I think it’s a wonderful idea” — Philip Buchanan, Veteran

What are these Veterans talking about?

They are talking about My HeatheVet.

It’s a free online resource, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that lets Veterans take charge of their health. And do so much more.

“It’s usually only a matter of hours before I get a reply.”

— Veteran Louis Hudson

You can refill your VA prescriptions…online. That’s right, no driving to the VA Medical Center, no waiting in line. Click, click…you’re done!

You can ask your VA doctor a question on Sunday morning at 6 o’clock.

(Actually, you’ll be asking your entire team of VA medical professionals. More about your “PACT” team and “Secure Messaging” in a minute.)

With My HeatheVet you can track your personal medical record, track your weight, your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more.

This program also stores your emergency contact information, and lets you print a wallet card that contains your critical information.

You’ll have to fill out a few forms and go into a VA Medical Center one time to set up a key confidential part of the program…but, boy, is it worth it.

“It’s a two way street, by giving information on both sides, the VA can put the package together.” — Cynthia Pruschki, Veteran

So block off an hour this weekend to read this material and fill out the forms and you’ll really be glad you did. Five years from now, every Veteran will be managing their health care this way, so sign up now, beat the rush.

From refilling VA prescriptions online, avoiding duplicate tests and procedures, making communication with your providers easier, improving overall safety, and providing you with personalized VA wellness reminders, My HeatheVet is a secure tool that works for you.

To sign up today, just visit

In a matter of minutes, you can create a Personal Health Record and have easy access to a variety of medical resources.

You’ll also have access to features such as trusted medical libraries, information on VA medical centers nationwide, mental health resources and screening tools.

Privacy is a Priority

My HeatheVet is a secure online home for your personal health records. Your privacy is our priority, so rest assured your information is safe.

To get the most out of My HeatheVet, visit your nearest VA health care facility and complete an In Person Authentication (IPA) form. After you appear in person to complete this application, you can then access enhanced features such as refilling your VA prescriptions by name online, and receive scheduled electronic VA Wellness Reminders.

IPA is a process used as an additional safety and security measure to verify a My HeatheVet user’s identity. It’s for your protection.

“The day I signed up for My HeatheVet, I went right down and signed my IPA. It puts you in control of your own health.” — William T. Maynard, Veteran

My HeatheVet stores and allows you to track and manage your personal, family, and military health history, your insurance information and your allergy and immunization records.

You can also enter diagnostic test results for your own or your physician’s access. This will help you avoid duplicating these procedures when it’s not necessary.

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can complete the entire process at your local VA medical center or clinic.

man and a team of healthcare professionals

Left to Right: Samantha Harris, Medical Support Clerk, Carroll Copen, LPN, Lorna Oldson, RN, Shelby Mallory-Price, LPN, Lori Cranwell, NP, Robert “Louis” Hudson, Veteran, Suzanne Hanna, MD, and Donna Lambert, MHV Coordinator

Your PACT Team

Today, VA uses a new model of care focused on Veterans’ needs and goals.

It’s called the Patient Aligned Care Team, or PACT.

It focuses on:

  • Partnerships — between Veterans and health care teams
  • Access to care
  • Coordinated care
  • Team-based care — with you, the Veteran at the center

Now, with My HeatheVet, you can securely communicate with your doctor and PACT team about your recent lab results, reschedule appointments, and renew medications.

You do this with “Secure Messaging.”

Secure Messaging is a vital component of the My HeatheVet Program. It’s a web-based message system that allows you and your VA health care teams to communicate non-urgent health-related information in a safe computer environment.

And it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at

Secure Messaging is similar to regular email, but more secure because it’s encrypted.

Veteran Louis Hudson has been using secure messaging to request appointments and request medication renewals, and even inform his provider of some non-VA care he received.

“It’s usually only a matter of hours before I get a reply,” he says, “or perhaps half a day if I send a message late on Friday, then I hear back on the following Monday. This system is confidential, easy, quick, and convenient.” Louis gives My HeatheVet secure messaging a big thumbs up.

“They are quick, too!”

By using Secure Messaging, VA patients can request appointments, prescription renewals, and ask routine health or administrative questions. The system also reduces the number of telephone calls and time spent waiting on hold.

“Secure Messaging has been a tremendous improvement in the way I communicate with my doctor and nurses,” says Veteran Russell Johnson. “Whenever I think of a question or concern, I can now email my doctor any time of the day or night and know that they will respond. They are quick too!”

“It is good to have My HeatheVet to track what I’m doing, track my exercise, and my eating habits. It gets us our care that we’re asking for in a much more convenient way.” — Steve Fyfe, Veteran

VA employees are required to respond to Secure Messages from Veterans within three business days.

The Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, N.C., is an example of how well this is working. They have an exceptional response rate. Veterans routinely get a response within one business day and 96 percent of all messages are responded to within three days.

“Our team loves Secure Messaging. We usually answer Veterans’ messages as soon as they come in. We can share information with our Veterans much faster than before,” said Andrea Speer, LPN.

“A Veteran can ask for a test result and instead of playing telephone tag or sending a letter, we can securely give them the information they need right away,” she adds.

Dr. Walter Martin of the Asheville VA Medical Center also touts the integration of Secure Messaging with clinical workflow. “As with phone call and voice messages, patients often send us questions or concerns that we need to address. But unlike phone conversations, where we have to chart our interactions, Secure Messaging gives us the ability to save our electronic conversations directly to the patient’s charts. This saves time and provides for better record keeping in patient care.”

“My HeatheVet is a powerful tool to enhance your overall health and well being. The power to use My HeatheVet is now in your hands.” — Dr. Robert Petzel, VHA Under Secretary for Health