New coronavirus chatbot available

For Veterans, families, caregivers, survivors


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The just released VA coronavirus chatbot is available 24/7 to quickly triage COVID-19 symptoms and answer your questions on testing options, stimulus payments and telehealth, and  even how to reschedule VA appointments.

With chatbot, you can send a My HealtheVet
secure message and call VA311 or your local VA medical center.

The chatbot also quickly refers Veterans and their families to the right resource if they need help or information. For example, after answering questions on specific health care needs, the chatbot may recommend:

  • Using My HealtheVet to send a secure message
  • Calling VA311 at 1-844-698-2311
  • Calling a local VA Medical Center

Chatbot built in three weeks

Developers built the chatbot in three weeks using the Microsoft Healthcare Bot platform and agile methodology. VA’s Office of Information and Technology, the Veterans Health Administrations Office of Connected Care, and the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) contributed to getting the bot from concept into the hands of Veterans.

“We were able to leverage the Microsoft Healthcare Bot platform that was used to launch the CDC chatbot. We could also quickly leverage authoritative content developed for other channels,” said Denise Kitts. Kitts is VEO’s executive director of multichannel technology.

VA contact centers have seen a significant increase in calls from Veterans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge in calls drove the rapid development of VA’s first chatbot. Chatbot allows Veterans access to important information from virtually anywhere, at any time.

“At VA, our number one priority is delivering excellent customer service to our Veterans,” said Charles Worthington. Worthington is VA’s chief technology officer. “It has been incredible to see VA staff from across the agency come together and deliver creative solutions. This product is a great example of VA’s commitment to using new technologies to improve our services.”

Veterans and their family members can access VA’s coronavirus chatbot through VA.gov.


This story is part of the Secretary’s Priorities series, which was outlined to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Military Constructions, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies on Feb. 26, 2019, by VA Secretary Wilkie. The Secretary’s Priorities are Customer Service, MISSION Act, Electronic Health Record, Transforming Business Systems and Suicide Prevention. These stories look at the improvements VA is making in how we relate to, interact with and ultimately serve our Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. mike stenuis    

    Anyone with Direct Express that does not file taxes get a stimulus payment yet? Mid May has come and gone and nothing. There isn’t any info on this anywhere that I can find. Someone who is a friend of a friend of a friend said the 28th which is tomorrow. I guess we will see but not sure how accurate this grapevine is.

  2. nathalie hiquilan    

    I am a filipino citizen , a mother of 3 child veteran and the father is receiving benifit from veterans affairs regarding my child but I dont have the access of the funds, lm the legal guardian of my kids and they are in school, Is anyone can help how l can get the benifit for my 3 kids, as for now the father is staying in other cities and I/m in other town too with the 3 children. what should l do ? l cant get any financial support from philippines governtment as they said my child’s father is american…

  3. Nicholas Nelson    

    Still no information about the stimulus, I see how much the government cares about our veterans.

  4. James Larry Skipper    

    I received my stimulus check but not one for my two sons. How do I check to see why?

  5. Tyesha Alexander    

    Will the VA continue expansion of the telehealth program for veterans applying for compensation and pension benefits To reach more veterans and more timely adjudication of their claims rather than relying on primarily face to face evaluations?

  6. John guidoni    

    I have a question…..if I don’t have symptoms I cannot get tested for the virus….but, I could be a carrier of the virus…..why can’t I get tested to see if I am a carrier…isnt that unhealthy???????

  7. Elisandro Saenz    

    Where’s the info about our stimulus. I’ve tried everything and called and no help.

    1. Donald Noteboom    

      Last I read it would be mid May but we’ll see

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