The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a launched a new feature that will allow veteran patients to view, download, and print many of their medical images and reports from an online portal.
Veterans with a premium account for the VA’s patient portal, My HealtheVet, can also download and share X-rays, mammograms, CT scans and MRIs with their doctors inside and out of the VA healthcare system. The new VA Medical Images and Reports feature, which is part of the Blue Button choices offered to veterans, provides “a new way to access your information online, instead of traveling to a VA facility to pick up copies of images and reports in-person,” officials said in a recent announcement.
The VA Medical Images and Reports feature was first introduced at several VA Medical Centers in August 2017. Since that time, VA officials have been collecting feedback from veterans who have been using the feature, with many noting that they have been satisfied with it.
Veterans can also download a zip file that includes a copy of their diagnostic quality images (DICOM images) along with the radiology report. If they want to view the DICOM images they can also opt to select and install a free DICOM image viewer. The images and reports may then be copied to a CD, DVD, USB flash drive, or any portable drive of their choice to share with providers.
Officials did also note that not all study images are available, but the ones that are accessible are usually available three calendar days after the study report has been verified.
“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,” VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie said in 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.”