My Coast Guard
Commentary | Sept. 27, 2021

Coast Guard Care Anywhere continues to make strides in adoption and use

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard Care Anywhere (CGCA), our virtual telehealth program, has a team that’s been busy scheduling events and making exciting improvements to the program. Here are some updates on the program and an overview of enhancement releases coming to you soon:

  • CGCA Clinic Visits. CGCA has now been rolled out to every Coast Guard clinic with full active duty and reserve patient enrollment. The CGCA team has been traveling with Rear Adm. Dana Thomas and the Health Safety and Wellness Service Center leadership to present the Health Care Facility of the Year awards and provide CGCA briefs, as well as, demonstrations to each clinic around the country. “This is a program that supports the Coast Guard to meet the Commandant’s Strategic Objectives. These visits have been very helpful to the clinics as they learn the program and adapt it into their workflows,” says Lt. Cmdr. Diana Gertsch, former CGCA system owner. Due to the Delta variant, the remaining visits will be held virtually throughout the month of September. A full schedule will be posted on the new CGCA website once the dates are set. This website will also be a great resource for patients and medical providers and support staff to find training videos, FAQs, links, etc. 
  • CGCA Leadership Change. The CGCA team announces a new change in program leadership. As of August 20, 2021, Gertsch demobilized and returned to the reserves. Her successor is Chief Warrant Officer Erica Pasquier, as the new Telehealth lead and system owner. “It’s been an honor to work on such a vital program so meaningful to the future of how Coast Guard will deliver medical care and improve access to care. I’m proud to have been a part of it and I know CWO Pasquier will continue the momentum,” said Gertsch.
  • CGCA Wellness Wednesday Discussion. Recently, on Coast Guard Day, August 4, 2021, Gertsch and her team participated in a Wellness Wednesday discussion providing instruction and a demonstration of CGCA from the patient’s perspective. “This was a great opportunity to raise patient awareness,” said Gertsch. “We discussed how this innovative program was developed during the early part of the pandemic and provided a live demonstration showing how easy the program is to use.” Click to watch the recorded video. (CAC required)

CGCA Program Improvements: 

  • New Dashboard Request Features. With the next software release, our member patients will see two new visit request tabs: PHA and Dental. These tabs will include questionnaires to complete to aid the medical staff when scheduling your appointment requests. In addition, the Behavioral Health request tab now also has questionnaires commonly used by Coast Guard mental health providers. Once they are filled out, they can review them before the appointment to facilitate an appropriate plan of care. 
  • Patient Location Important. There will be a new button on the patient dashboard to enter the patient’s address/location as to where he or she is at the time of the appointment. This is important so the provider knows where the patient is actually located when meeting for the appointment in case of an emergency because with telehealth, the patient can be anywhere. For example, “If a provider in Hawaii is seeing a patient in San Diego and something’s happening on the patient’s end—that doctor needs a way to get them help. He or she would see the entered location and zip code and be able to call 911 on the patient’s behalf. As a provider, I’m not helpless,” said Gertsch. Location information improves patient safety and raises confidence on both sides using the program—CGCA doesn’t store home addresses and these change too often with permanent change of station (PCS), temporary duty (TDY), etc. 

Improved Schedule Visibility/ Form Library. On the provider and medical staff side, they will have better visibility of their schedules and be able to see the reason for the visits on the visit cards. They will also have access to a PDF forms library where they can download the appropriate form when they need one. Patients will also have a library as well located on the patient dashboard. 
Activate Your CGCA Account. CGCA provides better access to care and flexibility for patients who may not be able to schedule an appointment when and where it’s reasonable and convenient. As a reminder, a patient can only have a telehealth appointment if he or she has an active account. Members currently receive weekly Wednesday email messages about account activation. This is not a spam email. Be sure to activate your account if you haven’t done so already, simply click on the link and setup your account. 

If you need information or technical support, please call the CGCA support number: 877-70G-UARD or 877-704-8273. (Note: this is separate from CGFIXIT). The CGCA team also wants to remind patients to complete the Vivici Patient Experience Survey after each appointment and reminds patients not to drive during appointment visits. Your feedback and input are extremely valuable and we thank you in advance for your time. For more information on CGCA, visit the Portal site or the CGCA website.