The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently awarded a contract for a commercially available, off-the-shelf online patient self-scheduling system through a mobile application, or app, that will help improve access to care for Veterans.
Awarded to Document Storage Systems on April 14, the contract supports the Faster Care for Veterans Act of 2016, which requires VA to establish an 18-month trial program operational in at least three Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs), under which Veterans can use a cell phone, tablet, computer or mobile device to schedule and confirm primary care, specialty care and mental health appointments.
“The VA is making critical improvements to Veteran health care, and will always look to leverage innovative tools that will put more capabilities in the hands of Veterans,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “ Self-scheduling apps are widely used in the private sector and will help create a better experience for Veterans and their medical-care providers.”
VA’s Mobile Veterans Appointment Request (VAR) app, currently available at 99 sites, also provides most of the key capabilities required by the Faster Care for Veterans Act, and is modeled after successful mobile applications used for patient scheduling. VA intends to continue development of VAR to incorporate new capabilities.