The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has long been the subject of scrutiny for excessive wait times for patients scheduling appointments. In an effort to help address the problem, the VA has plans to launch an online scheduling portal in January 2017, according to a report in the San Diego Tribune.
In 2014, the VA came under fire for faking records so that appointment wait times appeared shorter. The new patient scheduling portal removes the VA scheduler from the process, allowing veterans to see a list of available appointments and schedule them on their own.
Kathy Frisbee, executive director for connected health in the VA’s office of connected care, spoke to the new focus on transparency:
I think it really increases the transparency of our system … we are exposing our availability to the world.
The new scheduling portal was tested with veterans in West Haven, Conn., and Boston, earning a 91% approval rating.