Veterans deserve the thanks of the American people, the real thing, results much more than words. That means serious medical and educational benefits. I bear witness that the Department of Veterans Affairs is getting the job done better and better.
Part of the solution involves culture change, new ways of doing things, which is always difficult in Washington. The way that’s happening at the VA is a systematic effort to get the rank-and-file to tell management what’s going on, and how to do that better. Complementing that is commitment by leadership to make the best resulting ideas real. This is an ongoing effort, the vanguard involves formal efforts where I participated; my knowledge is first hand, and I’d like to personally thank each and every employee who participated in those efforts.
The VA is also reaching out to the private sector in what feels to me like genuine, but informal, public/private partnership. For example, we just saw some great software which builds on the Blue Button health records tool. It makes it pretty easy for a Vet to check out pertinent records, and to get them to health care providers, and more. This resulted from a vendor competition.
Meanwhile, there’s another effort where vendors are proposing telehealth solutions. The big theme is better medical care for Vets outside VA facilities, like at home. I’m seeing a lot of solutions that I’d like to see for myself, and hey, that would include Blue Button for everyone.
Okay, the deal is that people at the VA are getting results using common sense, getting stuff done to better and better serve Vets. That also means better return for the taxpayer dollar, and I sure hope it means better medical care for everyone.
Craig Newmark is the founder of the internet site Craigslist.