As part of a two day MyVA Advisory Committee meeting, VA Secretary Bob McDonald and Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson spoke about the significant progress made in the five strategies of the MyVA transformation in 2016. This includes improving the Veteran experience, improving the employee experience, improving internal support services, continuous improvement and enhancing strategic partnerships.
A few highlights of the MyVA progress made in 2016:
- 17 million Veterans recieved appointments in their communities in FY15
- Average wait times in September 2016 were less than five days for primary care, less than six days for specialty care and less than three days for mental health care
- 60 percent of Veterans surveyed in June trust VA
- It takes just 24 minutes to enroll in VA health care over the phone
- 100 percent increase in the capacity for the Veterans Crisis Line facility
- 83 percent reduction in pending claims (those greater than 125 days) since the height in March 2013
- 47 percent decrease in Veteran homelessness since 2010
- $226 million in cost avoidance by transforming how we order medical and surgical equipment
- 116 days: the average time to complete a claim
- VA has the 5th OIT ranking out of 24 agencies in the Office of Management and Budget Benchmarks for customer satisfaction
- 106 community Veterans Engagement Boards to meet Veterans’ needs locally
- VA now per-determines a Veteran’s eligibility for burial benefits at our 135 national cemeteries
McDonald and Gibson recognized the progress that has been made over the past two years, but emphasized that there is still more work to be done and that the VA must continue to serve Veterans by putting their needs first.
Transformation is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. MyVA is about looking at VA from the Veteran’s perspective, then doing everything we can to make the Veteran experience effective and engaging. Veterans are feeling the difference; employees are feeling the difference; and VA is acting differently. The challenge is to maintain that change momentum.