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Ready to Go: New Tool Helps Make the Most of Appointments

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  • Published on: February 28, 2022

Veterans and health care professionals have the same goal during face-to-face appointments—quality, effective patient care. That time is valuable, and often patients spend too much time filling out paperwork. Now, an online tool called eScreening is improving Veterans’ access to care by enabling them to submit health information remotely before an office visit.

The eScreening tool allows Veterans to complete clinical screenings from any connected device. Patients can report symptoms or complete standardized screening questions before their medical appointments, creating a more efficient visit.

This might include, for example, a Veteran completing their medical history form at home or anywhere, any time before their appointment, rather than in a packed waiting room with dozens of other people, especially while COVID-19 precautions persist in many areas.

Simply put, eScreening eliminates much of the manual “paper-and-pencil” administrative work—for both Veterans and clinical staff.

“With most personal doctors and hospitals, this type of information is collected online. eScreening brings VA more in line with what’s being done in private industry and allows skilled staff to practice patient care, as opposed to doing administrative work,” said Angela Gant-Curtis, IT program manager for the VA Innovation Unit, in the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Information and Technology’s (OIT) Office of the Chief Technology Officer. OIT assisted the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Center for Excellence for Stress and Mental Health in deploying the tool.

Veterans and clinicians provided real-world feedback that helped shape the tool during development by the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health. Currently, eScreening is in use at 30 VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) nationwide, where before an appointment, patients receive an email with a link to the screening questions. As demand grows among patients and clinicians, the tool is expected to be deployed at additional sites nationwide.  

Recognized with a Robert L. Jesse Award for Excellence in Innovation in 2021, eScreening gives Veterans a voice regarding their health care. In a survey, about 90 percent of Veterans agreed that the tool is easy to use and expressed satisfaction with the experience.

As the nation’s largest health care system, VA strives to deliver quality customer service to our nation’s Veterans. eScreening is another example of how VA and our partners work to solve real-world problems.

Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.

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Page last updated on February 28, 2022

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