Are you getting VA’s text messages? VA is texting health care updates and reminders


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VA is sending text messages to its 7+ million Veterans enrolled in VA health care. The texts deliver VA’s latest information, resources and guidance. VA’s next wide-scale VEText message will be on how Veterans can access virtual mental care.

Update Your Contact Information Now

If you are not receiving these important updates, it’s possible that VA doesn’t have your updated contact information. Login to VA.gov to view your profile, make any updates, and select your notification preferences–such as receiving VEText text messages on important information from VA. For more detailed instructions, see Veterans can now update their contact information online.

Leveraging Innovation

Launched at the Loma Linda, Calif., VA Medical Center in March 2018, VEText was developed by an innovative team of VA employees to better serve Veterans with convenient text appointment reminders, similar to the messages available in private industry. VEText quickly grew so popular and successful, it expanded nationally. It is now available at all VA Medical Centers. VEText doesn’t replace the letters, postcards, or automated phone call reminders VA patients currently receive, but it provides an additional, convenient communication channel.

“VEText is an example of how agile development can have a rapid impact on Veteran care,” says Deanna Callahan, VEText Program Manager. “We are a small group that can rapidly make changes to accommodate new requirements quickly. The latest messages pointing to updated resources are a perfect example of that.”

 

VEText sends appointment reminders to Veterans enrolled in VA health care.

VEText sends appointment reminders to Veterans enrolled in VA health care.

VEText also reminds you of your medical appointments and open slot options

With VEText, you can receive an interactive text message reminder of your upcoming medical appointment’s date, time and location a week beforehand. Then it sends a second reminder a couple of days before the appointment. The Open Slot Management feature will send a text offering a sooner appointment if there is one available and if you are scheduled more than 30 days from your provider-indicated appointment date. You can reply at a convenient time to CONFIRM or to CANCEL the appointment. To date, more than 7.1 million Veterans are receiving VEText for health care appointment reminders, resulting in a more than 10% decrease of missed or no-show appointments.

VA automatically enrolls patients in VEText based on the contact information VA has on file, but you can easily reply STOP to opt out of receiving these text reminders or START to a previous text to opt back in if you later change your mind. Enrolled VA patients can manage notification preferences and contact information at any time through VA.gov.

A better digital experience

This ability for Veterans to quickly receive important information and easily manage their communication preferences online through VA.gov is the result of a collaboration between the VEText team, Veterans Experience Office, Chief Technology Office and Veterans Health Administration, led by a Presidential Innovation Fellow to improve how VA reaches Veterans in trusted, timely and actionable ways.

“We’re supporting efforts across VA’s portfolio of services: everything from delivering a great digital experience on VA.gov to using artificial intelligence to accelerate the benefit claims process, to modernizing communications direct to Veterans–in this case, accelerating the agency’s adoption of digital notifications,” says Charles Worthington, VA Chief Technology Officer.

Ensuring modernized, effective communications with Veterans when and how they need it takes a collaborative, Veteran-centric focus.

“Veterans need solutions that meet them where they are, not where we are,” says Clarice Chan, Presidential Innovation Fellow. “We are infusing industry best practices into VA to build Veteran-centric user experiences. This helps us deliver information and services to Veterans more effectively.”

Future enhancements include expanding the text reminder feature to pharmacy notifications, benefit claims status updates and direct deposit notifications.

For more information on messaging options visit: VEText

Author

Kiran Dhillon

An insatiably curious storyteller, Kiran is the communications lead for the Multi-Channel Technology Directorate with VA’s Veterans Experience Office. Kiran joined the Department of Veterans Affairs by way of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Peace Corps.

Comments

  1. Kirk M    

    I don’t own a “smart” phone so I can’t receive text messages. Since I’ll avoid owning a smart phone and the exorbitant costs of owning one, There has to be an alternative way to receive these reminders.

  2. Judith Watt    

    I get the reminders for appointments….I get 4 reminders for the same appointment! Using the telehealth, I get 4 different reminders along with 4 different links! Very frustrating!
    Also, when I have labs, x-rays or other tests done it would be nice if VA would call with results! I usually have to make 2-4 calls to get results!

  3. Lloyd Guyot    

    I in need of prescriptions on my medicine from my primary care and I need some eye drops for my eyes because they are very dry and hurt

  4. thomas pugh    

    can’t seem to get hold my doctor. Got a notice to stop taking Ranit
    idine but was not informed as to what to take now

  5. Harold Raymond Sharrer    

    I am a disabled veteran and have been using the Spark M Matsanaga V A hospital in Honolulu and they are great but with this virus I wanna be able to talk or email my doctor and medications to help stop the spread of the virus. I am 70 and this would make it better for me and my family.

  6. George Heikkinen    

    I am extremely pleased with all of the communication methods the VA uses to keep me updated, including phone calls, email responses and texts. The care I am receiving is greater than I expected. Thank you!

  7. Gloria Nerby    

    I do not have or do any texting what so ever. You will need to email any texts or information to me via email.

  8. Ronny L Buckaloo    

    If everything is going so good then why has my mental health appointment for June 2020 cancelled.all the information I got was a letter saying it was canceled no reason no new appointment date.on another note I want to thank my Doctor at Fort Worth VA clinic DR THERESA LUGO and her Staff for the 25 years she has been taking care of me.i can’t say enough about the care she gives me.She has been like a guardian angel to me.I just want to thank her for the help and care she gives me and I always watch how busy they are in the clinic and for God sakes get them the help that they need,I am a disabled vet and count so much on her.Sgt Ronny Buckaloo USMC

  9. William D Brackett Jr    

    Health care updates please.2

  10. Bill Henry    

    I’m a 64 year old veteran, I called the Atlanta taps line per instruction of Atlanta VA patient care advocate department, because I was experiencing a nagging cough. Almost 24 hours later I finally got a callback from a VA clinic nurse. She asked me a series of questions, call back about an hour later and told me the doctor Said I had acute bronchitis, and wanted me to take the Z-pack )azithromycin) and an expectorant. This was on a Wednesday, I finally received it in the mail six days later.

  11. Sebrina F. Smith    

    This is very good news for the veteran population!

  12. Thomas ennenga    

    VA’s health care is less then adequate, alot of good experiences at the VA, and several bad , bad enough I won’t go back, and have a friend go there,

  13. Fred P Warren    

    Not a comment but a question. How do I know if I have Vet text already?

  14. RBWS    

    You can post all the blog sht you want to post.. And

    You can send all the text messages you want to send… and

    But ….. 770you still are not allowing veterans into the VA hospitals to get health care because you are too damn concerned with keeping your doctors and nurses safe so they can treat civilians and look like heroes to the average person when their job is first and foremost to take care of veterans

    And until you treat veterans with the respect they deserve because of the time they gave to their country and often the sacrifices that they made for this country…… Then all those blogs and text messages mean absolutely nothing

    1. S W    

      RBWS. Absolutely right. I stopped getting text messages because they were so annoying. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    2. S W    

      RBSW, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  15. Robert Schultz    

    Unable to respond to VA texts due to VA using old out of date SMS message system. All new phones use MMS system. Please correct this issue.

    1. S W    

      Robert, don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Comments are closed.