Access & Quality in VA Health Care

04/12/2017 02:03 PM EDT

VA Makes Wait Times for Patients Transparent for Veterans: New online tool is first of its kind

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking unprecedented steps to increase transparency.  Today, VA launched a new Access and Quality Tool that provides Veterans with an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way of accessing patient wait time and quality of care data. This tool not only provides Veterans with more information about VA services, it increases accountability and ensures VA is held to a higher standard.

“Veterans must have access to information that is clear and understandable to make informed decisions about their health care,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin. “No other health-care system in the country releases this type of information on wait times. This allows Veterans to see how VA is performing.”

The tool allows Veterans to access the average times patients are waiting to be seen in their local area; how Veterans describe their experiences scheduling primary- and specialty-care appointments at specific VA facilities; timeliness of appointments for care needed right away; and the quality of health care delivered at VA medical centers compared with local private-sector hospitals. The Access and Quality Tool is the most transparent and easy to understand wait time and quality data website in the health-care industry.

“This tool is another example of VA leading the way,” said Acting Under Secretary for Health Dr. Poonam Alaigh. “No one in the private sector publishes data this way. This tool will instill a spirit of competition and encourage our medical facilities to proactively address access and quality issues while empowering Veterans to make choices according to what works best for them and their families.”

VA will continue to make improvements to this tool based on the feedback it receives from Veterans. The Access and Quality Tool can be found at www.accesstocare.va.gov. Watch this video to learn how the tool can be used.

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3 Replies to “Access & Quality in VA Health Care”

  1. The last three times I have tried to get immediate treatment at the Knoxville VA Clinic, tow times there were no slots open so I could be seen by the doctor the first time I just happened to be going to MH in a couple of days and while there went to the emergency room, the next time I was told to go to a local emergency room (didn’t like the treatment) and the third time the doctor a Knoxville had an opening and saw me the next day. I think they need to have a doctor available for immediate care so the patient will know what to do next. We can’t be guessing is this a cold or is it pneumonia.

  2. The program the is being tried in Az. to link CVS care to VA is a great start to help vets get faster and we can hope better care. The VA health care system was started after WW I before there was access to medical as we have today. Take the money that is being misused for infrastructure , staff, Doc. that can’t get a licence to practice in US and give the vets a voice in where and by who they are treated . VET MEDICARE !

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