Flu season has begun and VA is working to provide our Veteran patients with greater immunization options. Veterans who choose to receive flu shots from non-VA providers or local pharmacies have traditionally not been able to have their immunization records forwarded to the VA. The result has been that Veterans are required to fill out additional VA forms. Or, they have to remember to provide the information to their local VA health care provider during a VA visit.
Under a new pilot for enrolled veterans in the Florida region of VA’s Veterans Integrated Service Network 8, Veteran patients who choose to get a flu shot at any of more than 800 Walgreen’s locations now have an option for Walgreens to electronically forward their immunization record to VA – no paper record, no remembering required. By sharing electronic immunization records, we are working to provide a more complete and accurate electronic health record to support an improved VA immunization rate.
Enrolled Veterans will continue to be offered a no-cost flu shot at more than 80 VA locations in the service network during any scheduled VA appointment, admission to a VA facility, or at one of the special walk-in flu stations. For flu shots received from non-VA providers and pharmacies, there usually will be a charge, unless a Veteran is covered by private insurance or by programs such as Medicare.
For details on the program, Veterans who are in the Florida, VISN 8 region should contact a local VA medical center or clinic, or go to www.walgreens.com. or click here for more information. Find VISN 8 locations here and the VISN 8 home page here.
Douglas Trauner is the Entrepreneur in Residence for the VA Center for Innovation where he is working to improve how patient care coordination and Veteran services can more effectively be delivered through VA and non-VA health care providers, community organizations, caregivers and family members.