Last week, VA observed a “National Salute to Veteran Patients.” The program, which takes place every year around February 14th, provides the community with an opportunity to say Thank You to Veterans and raises awareness for volunteering at VA. This week always serves as a reminder that one of the great things about my job is I am not only an employee, but I am a patient. That allows me to be a “Secret Shopper” of sorts. I thought I would share some recent experiences.
A while ago, I tweeted that the waiting room was standing room only. Within minutes, staff had brought additional chairs for those needing them and the crowd began to disperse.
Then, my neck began hurting again and I needed a Physical Therapy follow-up. I logged onto www.MyHealtheVet.va.gov and used Secure Messaging to request an appointment with VA New Orleans Rehab. The next day, one of the MDs returned my message that a Rep would contact me for an appointment. I got a call the very next day and was able to schedule an appointment for one week later. I was super excited to see how great this worked.
The day of my appointment, I arrived at 0845 for my 0930. As I entered the Check-in line, a VA Staff member motioned me over to the new Vet Link Check in Kiosk. Within seconds, I was checked in and directed to the Physical Therapy room.
Greeted by a provider, he took my check in slip and proceeded to fill out a paper to add my name and last four. He acknowledged that they have not worked out all the bugs yet, but the technology is a great improvement. I was then directed to the waiting area where I found a cart of hot coffee. I was called in and spoke to a resident/intern who had already reviewed my file history. Having been updated of my need from the secure message I had sent previously, he alerted the Therapist that I was ready to be seen. A few short tests later, I was given a new authorization to continue with my needed physical therapy. By 0951, my visit was complete and I headed back to work.
I am very excited as I write this blog post to share with you not only as a patient and employee, but as a Recruiter. It is this type technology, efficiency and patient satisfaction that leads to a rewarding career. The staff members I met that day were happy, professional and caring; I hope they felt the same about me.
So if you would like to be a part of continuing to improve care for Veterans, then visit VACareers.va.gov and apply TODAY!