VA’s new online tool helps Veterans make informed health care decisions


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For many Veterans, deciding when, where and how to receive medical care is often one of the most complex and challenging decisions of the entire health care process. Health care performance, access or quality of care data, is very complicated – leaving many Veterans at a loss for the best course of action. To help, VA is launching a new website with an access and quality tool to help Veterans make more informed choices.

The new online tool allows Veterans, caregivers and the public to access the most transparent and easy-to-understand wait time and quality of care measures across the health care industry. That means Veterans can quickly and easily compare access and quality measures from their VA facility to other VA facilities, and make informed choices about where, when and how they receive their health care. Further, Veterans at some of VA’s largest medical centers will now be able to compare the quality of VA care to local private-sector hospitals with more hospital comparisons being added soon.

This tool is designed with transparency in mind – taking highly complex data and making it easily available to Veterans and the public. It’s just one way VA is working to restore Veterans’ trust and confidence.

The online tool provides easy-to-use data related to:

  • How long patients are waiting to be seen in their VA facility
  • How Veterans describe their experiences scheduling primary and specialty care
  • Timeliness of appointments for care needed right away
  • Information about the quality of healthcare delivered at every medical center compared to local private sector hospitals

The new access and quality web tool is a work in progress and will continue to evolve as Veterans, VA employees, Veterans service organizations and others provide feedback to improve its tools and capabilities. VA’s goal is to make this tool a Veteran-driven, Veteran-designed point of access for the services our Veterans deserve.

Please visit to http://www.accesstocare.va.gov/ and watch the video below for our online demo.

Author

VAntage Point

Comments

  1. James Scott    

    I get my healthcare at the New Orleans VA. I have been getting excellent health care. General practitioners,acupuncture,heart,urologist,infectious disease,prosthetics and therapy all give me prompt appointments. My wait time are minimal. I usually see two interns and one doctor teacher. I have doctors and interns that are with me as long as 45 minutes. My VA Tulane doctors. Found out why I had a high white blood cell count. I have had 2 stints and a heart ablation all done by the VA doctors. I feel so lucky after reading about all the problems my fellow veterans have getting quality healthcare.

    1. James R Voitik Sr    

      I am glad that someone can get proper care at the VA. I have received (THREE) false failed drug tests and have been refused the right to correct them. No sight in the world can change (Intentinol Damages!)

  2. Daniel Perez    

    Now all you need to do is create an app for cellphones and you’re on your way!

  3. Nicole Mandel    

    I feel like a patient-oriented tool to let Veterans make an appointment or find a drop-in center would be more useful to clients. This feels research-oriented. The map interface adds a level of complexity.

  4. Joseph Mclaughlin    

    What choice? I can try to see my primary doctor or go 125 miles to the ER in Fayetteville Ar. This article makes it seem we veterans can chose what we want. I begged for 30 years to see an Ortho Doctor for my service connected injury a broken Hip. After congressional help and many refusal all I could see was a nurse that said he was a doctor, RN Gustofsen Loma Linda Ca. I have never seen an Orthopedic Doctor since I discharged in 1987 or even since I paid a private doctor to replace my hip. BTW I had a hole size of a golf ball and amazed the surgeon I could even walk.

    If you are going to publish articles like this at least try to be realistic. Veterans have little say and no one to talk with face to face when there is a problem. If you want to see just how bad it really is seek out veterans and calling for them posing as a wife or caregiver trying to make an appointment. I would be happy to be one of your samples. I cannot even call in and talk. Many times I do not get called back for at least 2 days.

    1. Geary Hooper    

      You are right waste of time and money

  5. پروژه متلب    

    Now all you need to do is create an app for cellphones and you’re on your way!

  6. js    

    If the big Hospitals were to increase the amount of patients they see by 25% it would be good. They could do that by making their “Training Day” an online, and/or after hours event. The Idea that on Tuesdays the whole place about shuts down and nobody is treated till past noon (so Tues PM is a really SHORT SHIFT) is really an obvious cause for long wait times.

    1. Timothy Ard    

      They already have, this is the website version. They were developed at the same time, and both have just as many mistakes and problems.

  7. Eldon Lackey    

    what a joke just another smoke and mirror trick trying to make the VA look like it is doing something for us.If they would focus on actually helping would really help.Been waiting months to get a special CT scan done after waiting months to see a doctor,and now months for them to schedule PT for my problems,Oh did I mention took 2 1/2 years to find out I had a torn rotator cuff still waiting for PT on this one,seen orthopedic doctor once for both my problems 1 back 2torn rotator cuff.so no not really impressed by this new program.How about you just give us what we were promised we done our part now do yours give us the help we deserve

    1. David Daniels    

      Need more from patient advocacy. They do not follow through on investigations. An excuse can not be the final outcome of any thorough investigation. Most excuses are at the top of the berg, the problem(s) truth lies somewhere below. This new program has been tried many times with no success. Can’t solve a problem with new art work.

  8. Harry T. Mozen    

    I don’t think that averages are going to indicate what will happen in a particular case. I’ll try it. Thank you.

  9. Norm Schklar    

    I use Atlanta, GA Center and Lawrenceville, GA clinic. Been seeing them for maybe 5 years. No complaints. Nice staff, good doctors, reasonable waits.

  10. Kerry Otterstrom    

    I notice the new site is medical issue, I would like to know how to resolve issues at my V.A. pertaining to administrative issues. I get a horrible start after re-enrolling each year as they fail each time. Takes 9 months to resolve each year for the past ten years. It makes a medical issue due to the stress it causes each and every time. Most of these employees
    are rude and can’t even interface with other V.A. computers in the same facility. It takes time but one good employee
    will actually resolve the issue. No reason for an issue to begin with. This has happened at the Las Vegas V.A.

    1. Donna Brown    

      Glad to see a positive comment. While the VA care I receive is not perfect, it sure has been good. I’m thankful for it.

  11. William Martin    

    I will be moving soon, so I used the “map”, and didnʻt even see the VA clinic in Santa Barbara, CA.

    This website doesnʻt even use internet standards. That BING map is useless. The expansion controls are uncontrollable. Obviously this site was built by MS trained people with no real expertise in user requirements.

    Take development of this website OUT of the hands of Microsofts environment, and into the realm of real “human” requirements on the other end. Get some real web designers using this. Use Google maps, at least. Google has had MUCH more experience in the realm of “user friendly” Web standards. MS people attempt to go outside the “standards” and usually mess it up.

    This is map experience was a “no show” for me. FIX IT!

    1. Timothy Ard    

      That is a google based map not BING based map. Go to the facility locator on https://www.va.gov for a more complete list of facilities for the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

    2. Timothy Ard    

      Also Stop bashing Microsoft when it is the Google Android and Apple iOS fans that are messing up the site building process. Even Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has admitted to as much.

  12. Bill Walter    

    These replies (personal testimonies) mean more than any article, feature or presentation. My fellow vets –your congressman, senator and/or state representatives need to hear from you. HUA!

  13. Lois Hale    

    We live in Pocahontas, AR and my husband used to go to Paragould to see the doctor, they opened a new facility in Pocahontas, but they are only open on Tuesday and Thursday.
    My husband became ill and we were told since we use the Pocahontas Clinic, he could no longer go to Paragould where the DR is except on Tuesday and Thursday when he is in Pocahontas.
    We had to drive to Poplar Bluff MO, to acute care. I just don’t understand why the same Dr. can’t see him at both places?

  14. Timothy Ard    

    Did anybody else notice how many VA Medical centers are not on this website? For example they have the Spokane, WA mobile VA clinic and the Spokane Valley VA clinic, and even the Downtown Spokane WA VA clinic but not the Spokane Mann-Granstaff VAMC.

  15. Homer Lee Barnhardt Sr    

    Some good experiences, and some bad. Seems it depends on where your VA facility is located, and more importantly who the employees are.
    I moved my care to Richmond Va from Hampton Va. I could immediately see a big difference. Hampton Va. VA is a big joke. Iwas being billed for MD care when I wasn’t even in the area, and had never seen the doctor (?). I have a thumbs up on most veterans having worked for a major pharm. company for over 16 yeas. Therefore I recognize BS and quality of care maybe better than most
    thanks

  16. John Thompson Jr    

    TOTAL BS….I HAD AN EPIDURAL DONE AT LONG BEACH VA AND NOW CRIPPLED AND CANNOT CONTROL MY BOWEL OR BLADDER….NICE OF THE VA TO DO THAT TO ME HUH?

  17. Larry Geringer    

    The VA is so broken, it will take 100 years to change the culture of waste and useless matrix solutions to human health issues!
    The waste in printing and publishing is so bad that I can’t believe it. The annual VA Booklet is printed in millions and read by hardly anyone. Posters and pens, coasters and mouse pads, etc don’t help any veteran!
    I’ve been helping homeless veterans for 7 + years and the VA has never provided one red cent for a bed night, or one VA Bus to get vets to the VA Hospital . Why? Because the matrix rules require us to have a staff of degreed social work counsellors , we are veterans helping veterans, that is better than any non veteran social worker!

  18. Eugene Sadlowski    

    How do I access this website in the future?

  19. Joel Price    

    Fix veterans choice…bunch of idiots on the phone who continue to lose information….and then all will be well

  20. Bob Lease    

    You have to love web designers that think they are conserving cyber ink and cyber paper, that they have to make the font size micro fine and in a light color.

  21. James Allan Howell    

    I’m tired of hearing Vets complain about the VA Medical services! I see what my wife goes through to obtain private care – I wait HOURS with her – then many weeks to get follow-up appointment. I NEVER encounter such situations here in South Florida.

    My biggest complaint………. when I take the time to write PERSONAL letters to the DIRECTOR in Miami … acknowledging the outstanding service of a specific doctor or staff member… the doctor or employee NEVER receive any confirmation that a favorable letter has been received! That’s not good…………………………………………………………….

    Miami Hospital and Broward Clinic are AWESOME overall… I’m grateful for the health services i receive there.

  22. Rick Morris    

    This is a another attempt for the VA to “claim” that they are doing something. What needs doing is obvious to anyone with half of a brain. Allow for the firing of incompetent employees. Alcohol and drug test the employees of the VA every month and at random, subject them to the same stigma that they go out of their way to “tag” veterans with. This unjust tagging directly effects how a veteran is treated by other doctors. Have a beer 2 days before labs are done and you will be labeled as an alcoholic, never tell them you smoked a joint 30 years ago or you will be tagged with “a history of drug abuse”.

  23. Jim Murphy    

    I am not sure what a phone app will do, can someone comment. And another VA website?? Only one is needed and it should be clean and easy to use, but like most other VA efforts, this is just throwing money at the wrong thing. Fix all the Community Based Outpatient Clinics as well. The choice program is just plain politics, something that is supposed to appease congress. I don’t have a choice if there is a “facility” closer than 40 miles to the nearest VA hospital. Well my “facility/CBOC” is only five miles from me but can not perform the necessary medical procedures to accommodate me, so I have to drive over 40 miles because my “facility” is so close. I can not use the choice program and see a local physician. Just plain stupid.

  24. Rick Morris    

    My comments are based on the lack of treatment I have encountered at the VA in Biloxi MS. What kind of dr just stops seizure med’s for no reason. What kind of dr does not do any hands on exam until called out about it, and then finally does so during the 4th visit. This dr wouldn’t listen to me about anything I brought up, my heart problem was discovered accidentally when I had a seizure and was transferred to a civilian hospital from the VA hospital at Biloxi. The Biloxi VA tried to say that I was intoxicated and upon arrival to the civilian Hospital the tests came back negative for alcohol. The VA still refuses to retact the statement, isn’t that lying in an official medical record, which is a felony.

  25. Mat Welch    

    My brother now is living in the Philippines in need of Health care. It is impossible to find a Va Medical Center that will take
    him without requesting “Pay up Front” or “Pay before leaving the facility”. The catch is that the Bill get adding up each day
    (even after release) until it is paid.

    The so-called “VA Medical Facility” in Manila also request payment after service. They leave the payment or claiming of the Bill to the Veterans in need of medical care or they will not be “Released” during this time the cost does not “STOP” adding
    up each day (What a catch 22, yes).

    Not sure what to do or Whom to turn too.??????? And of course his medical issues are VA related.

  26. David M Heim    

    I go to Bay Pines and a clinic in Palm harbor Florida. I have always been treated well and appointments are most always on time. Now James Haley in Tampa is best desribed as a horror story. After a spinal tap there i was treated so poorly and disrespectfuly that i actually tried to drive home within 2 hours after the tap was done. I ended up passing out on my way to the car. I complained to the chief of staff about how ibam being treated (bad i dea) he spoke to the nurse about what i said and she came directly to me and screamed and cursed me out for complsining. She then told me not to expect to get any thing from her again. I got no food or water or meds and i had 3 full urinals on my bed. STAY AWAY FROM THERE.

  27. Steven Olivera    

    I was ‘assigned’ to the facility in Bonham, Tx…great place, friendly staff, competent Dr.s etc BUT, it’s quite a distance from my house so, I had my primary, cardiologist and neurologist switched from Bonham to the Dr.s I’d already been seeing in my town. GREAT!! except trying to get authorizations for tests etc from the VA to my Dr.s is like a dog chasing it’s tail…Dr.s say they’ve sent the request…VA says they know nothing about it…start the process over again…same results…not only have I been waiting for over TWO years for a routine Colonoscopy(not thrilled about it anyway lol), I’m going on 9 months waiting for authorization for CT scan in regards to my epilepsy. It seems to me that instead of focusing on a web-site that helps for some but, does nothing for most…resources would be better utilized in streamlining the administrative system itself. And with that, I’ll step off my soapbox.

  28. Edwin Hammer    

    To me the issue is the VA staff. You hire people who do not know about “paitient-centered” care. Your staff works by the “rule” meaning that they are not allowed to make decisions to help the individual patient. This “one size fits all” approach leads to patients feeling that they are not involved in their own healthcare. I have been a patient of the VA since 1961 and I marvel at those who work for the VA but am overly concerned about those who do not realize they are hired to think. Patients are not numbers. Patients are not there to be “processe.” I was recently in the hospital in Houston and tried to send an email to a clinic at the VA I attend in Amarillo. I used the “blue button” to tell the clinic I would not be able to keep my appointment because of hospitalization. Of course the message was not forwarded to the clinic by the “blue button” staff at the Amarillo VA. When I inquired about why my message was not sent on to the clinic I was told the “blue button” staff did not forward emails. What are they there for? That is an illustrarated leacture on why the VA has continuing problems. Your staff does not see their role in patient care. They view the patient as another number, another unit, another click on their computer. They would benefit from patient-centered training and implementation.

  29. Basil Deem    

    If Veterans didn’t have to fight the VA for the benefits they deserve, the VA could eliminate the backlog of cases and some employees. With this budget change, the VA could provide better service, more clinics, more doctors, etc. I see a problem with the employees who disapprove deserved benefits. Just trying to keep their jobs, they send letters: “We are working on your case”; “Your reply is needed within 60 days”(that means we are holding your case for 60 days+); “Your case has been transferred to…”; “Would you prefer to have your case reviewed by an officer or the normal way?”; Trying to save their jobs and justify why they didn’t do their work through delay. Cases spend more time on the shelf than being worked. Clean up this mess and provide more and better facilities.

    Anybody agree?

  30. Johnathon D Carlisle    

    I get my VA care at Charles George VA facility in Asheville, NC. I cannot complain about any treatment I have been given and it is in a timely manner. The VA treatment is complete and satisfactory in all aspects, and has been since 1989, when I was first treated at this facility.
    The Primary care providers are of the highest quality, they are genuinely interested in the care and treatment of me. I cannot complain about any aspect of my treatment, they go above and beyond in my care.
    There is a VA app for MY HEALTHY VET, for your phone. I use it to order my meds, make appointments, see my test results, communicate securely with my providers, I use this app all the time.
    John Carlisle

  31. Freaky Deaky    

    Just give veterans a medicare-type REAL health insurance and let us go where we want. All this other crap is just smoke and mirrors for the VA health care system employees to keep their overpaid jobs.

  32. Fidencio Perez    

    Here in the Manila Regional office it takes a long time to get and LOA

  33. Fidencio Perez    

    I wish the VA here in Manila would expedite the C&P process or have a contractor assist the VA here in Manila Philippines.

  34. Karen Sufficool    

    In my opinion, I believe that all medications, over the counter/ prescribed, vaccines, cancer treatments, testings and so forth, should be discussed on the dangers of side effects, new treatments that big pharma does not play a role in our life’s.
    The VA doctors are no where near, to the facts of the harm even an aspirin can do, let alone the effects of GMO’s, chemtrail flu, old cancer/chemo treatments that are deadly, rather than just changing their diets/PH balance and so forth. The HPV shot is still being offered to all women who come in the the womens “WELLNESS” Clinic, which is crazy, in my opinion.
    That is what should be on this new site for all to at least have that option and given that choice.

    Thank you
    Karen Sufficool

  35. Ronald Pariseau    

    Well the stupidity continues while Vets wait and die! Amazing!

  36. Rose Studdard    

    My husband called four times to local va clinic about crippling pain in his back, an on going issue, and no one called back. It is unacceptable.

  37. Miguel Guzman    

    Have some great nurses and medical staff at the Miami VA hospital, but when it comes to administration and problem solving it becomes a¨catch me if you can¨ attitude. It is a nightmare and they will lie to you staight to your face. Live outside the U.S. and tried getting a HOPTEL visit for a medical procedure and was actually told by the administrator that I choose to live outside the U.S and therefore do not qualify,.so let me get this straight, If I choose to live in Key West I qualify for HOPTEL but Veterans who live outside the U.S. get punished for doing so…! The irony is that their stories change from one floor and office of the building to the next, they can not even get their stories (lies) straight.

  38. Ronald Hall    

    I used Orlando VA clinic/hospital (old & new) untill this year and have nothing but utmost praise for appointments and care.
    Now I’m using Tampa facilities and find it isn’t so good…maybe i got spoiled in Orlando.
    In Port Richey clinic you can’t walk in…by appointment only, and I’ve been referred to the Choice program which is at least 6wks. waiting.

  39. john long    

    John Long

    I live in Bradford County PA and go to the clinic in Sayre PA that is only about fifteen miles away. They treat me very well and never had a problem. My may concern is if i have any other issues that the out clinic can’t provide i have to go Wilkes Barre VA Hospital one hundred miles from my home. Hoping that some day i can go to local hospital that is located also in Sayre PA if i need to.

  40. Dabonenose    

    I’ve been enrolled in the VA Health Care System for 17 years at the Wilm. DE VA Hosp., and always had very good care.
    I was sent to the Wash DC. VA Hosp. for my ablation and first stent, and to the U of P Hosp. for my 2nd stent.
    I have no complaints whatsoever.

    Decent system, DON’T ROCK THE BOAT to much,,,LOL.

  41. Daniel hamre    

    There is no medical care at the va, just simple flow charts that nurses and docs use, that never addresses the complex problems many of us face. The Boise VA has the pharmacists telling the docs and patients what changes there will be, always involving stopping more expensive meds, and never taking the individual patients circumstances into consideration. Did you ever have a doc ask you what he can do to make you at least feel better, and then prescribe something that did? No, i think not. Docs are supposed to always comfort their patients, and do no harm.

  42. C.J. Atchley    

    I go to the V.A. in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and they have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

  43. John P Moore    

    I want to commend the staff at the Danville, IL VA facility. Everyone there that I have used has not only been very professional but has been very caring as well. Wait time to see someone is minimal. The only complaint I have is that they scheduled me over 2 months out to see my new Purple Team when the Aqua Team closed down. The hospitals at Danville and Indianapolis, IN, are both excellent!

  44. Thomas S Grove    

    I have been using Lebanon PA.VA medical center and York PA. VA outpatient clinic for several
    years.
    The care & communications are excellent.
    Thank You to all the VA caregivers your professionalism & dedication is deeply appreciated.

    Thank You

    Thomas S Grove

  45. Fidencio Perez    

    Let me ask this question I have read a lot of complaints on this site. What are you all going to do in order to solve all of these VA problems?

  46. Gretchen Reinhardt    

    To the previous person ” What are you all going to do in order to solve all of these VA problems?”

    I have always had many problem resolution ideas, but VA staff don’t consider my input worth listening to nor believing. In my case it starts with a valid complaint about an improper and secret chronic alcoholic diagnosis, which led VA to secretly black flagging me as a violent criminal in and out of VA to all health providers.

    To top that off, the penalty for complaining about the secret VA bunch in change of flagging, is for them to up the retaliation upon me. This includes retaliating against me for emailing the VA top brass staff in Washington DC about local VA leadership bad boys. It has destroyed my health care. VA has turned into a Police State.

  47. Denver & Bev Jamison    

    My husband and I have lived in Boise Idaho for 50 years He has gone to the VA hospital there for about 40 of those years. We are VERY blessed he gets GOOD care in a timely manner. Everyone is VERY nice. It is not perfect but everyone works to do their best and it shows. We have been to much bigger VA hospital (Seattle, San Fransicio, Virginia, Portland, Or) Have been treated with respect and dignity. We have NO complaint with the VA here. Their turn around time is better than it use to be, they have improved over the years. We have GREAT doctors here. Our doctor Dr Andrew Wilper is great we can not praise him enough. He is kind, understanding, and truly cares for his veterans in his care. Thank you VA

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