Kenneth W. Kizer, chief healthcare transformation officer for Atlas Research, recently wrote an opinion piece for MilitaryTimes on Tuesday detailing the importance of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) could be as the world continues to struggle with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Kizer explained that VA hospitals need to have as many beds available as possible and the VA’s use of telehealth and remote monitoring technologies. “The VA is also the only truly national health care system in the country, having multiple health care facilities in every state and essentially every major metropolitan area,” Kizer said.
He also provided examples of the work the VA has done in tele-ICU and it’s partnership with Podimetrics, Inc. to dramatically reduce the occurrence of diabetic foot ulcers by diagnosing the inflammation of incipient ulcers weeks earlier than can be done by conventional methods.
Kizer argues this is the type of innovation that could combat the coronavirus epidemic. He advocates for the VA to take a lead role because telehealth allows patients to be screened remotely, which supports the self-quarantine and other practices currently at play. More people can also be treated at home. As a result, more people can be seen.
Kizer has served as the undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as director of health services for California, where he orchestrated the state’s response to the new HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
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