Veterans rate their trust in VA by providing real-time feedback; VA uses that feedback to take immediate action and make improvements.
Since 2017, Veterans have sent in more than 4.5 million surveys.
“I have been completely satisfied with the VA clinic in Lafayette, La. I’ve had the best physicals at this clinic. The doctor and her nurse are professionals in every way. I could not ask for any better service than I’ve received from the VA. They should be complimented for their service. The Pharmacy likewise have given me top notch service, they should be complimented as well. 5 stars all around.” (Feedback from Veteran receiving VA Health Care.)
Of all the feedback collected since 2017, 67.9% has been complimenting, 18.8% were concerns, and 13.3% recommendations. This feedback has been a catalyst for not only immediately resolving issues for VA’s customers but also learning what Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors want.
In an outpatient health care survey–as of February 2020–89% of Veterans nationwide said they trust VA for their health care needs.
“Listening to our Veteran patients plays an important role in providing world class customer service. VA is not only listening to our Veterans, but we are taking action on their concerns as well as their recommendations to improve VA health care.”
The Veterans Signals (VSignals) program digitally collects customer feedback from Veterans, typically arriving in customer inboxes within hours to days after an appointment. It has received more than 4.5 million Veteran responses and has expanded to 35 surveys in real-time across the department.
With VSignals, Veterans can directly give their recommendations on how they’d like to see the VA change. A Veteran receiving VA Health Care encouraged the VA to share more information on how to nominate VA employees for awards to acknowledge the exceptional care they experienced.
“I have been at the VA an average of 4 days a week for the past 5 months and cannot express [enough] my gratitude for the treatment and respect I receive while in treatment. I know that employees are recognized for their performance, however I do not know how to submit a nomination for a VA employee to receive an award. I would recommend more information, for example a flyer posted in the VA main lobby, on how to do so.”
Veterans are also able to express their concerns so VA is made aware of and can act upon their feedback.
“The VA has paid special attention to Veteran feedback and has endeavored to improve the overall experience of the agency’s regular customers,” said Surafeal Asgedom, chief of VA Modernization. “This has been reflected by a substantial rise in reported Veteran satisfaction from 2015 to 2019, which nearly doubled.”
At the heart of this Modernization journey are the Veterans. Together, VA employees and partners are enabling Veterans to more easily access the high-qualify care and benefits they have earned. In addition to measuring trust, the Veterans Experience Office also spearheads Patient Experience tools and national initiatives to build the trust of our nation’s Veterans, including:
Own the Moment (OTM)
OTM training empowers VA employees to deliver a positive customer service experience by connecting emotionally with Veterans, to deliver the best experience for Veterans and their families. More than 86,000 VA employees have completed the OTM customer experience workshop.
Red Coat Ambassador Program
The Red Coat Ambassador program outfits volunteers and employees with recognizable red coats or vests to greet and assist Veterans and caregivers when they enter a medical center. The Red Coat Ambassador program is in nearly all VA Medical Centers.
VA Welcome Kit (VAWK)
The VA Welcome Kit is a navigation aid to assist Veterans, family members, caregivers and survivors to access benefits and services they’ve earned. The welcome kit is a handy reference for Veterans to turn to throughout their life. It offers tips on how to use VA benefits and services, whether they want to go to school, get a job, buy a house, get health care, retire, or make plans for their care as they age.
Veteran Identification Card (VIC)
VA provides Veteran identification cards to individuals who served honorably to use as proof of service to obtain discounted goods and services offered to Veterans. Veterans can apply directly for the card at https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/vic/
White House VA Hotline
The White House VA Hotline (1-855-948-2311) provides a direct, dedicated contact line that allows Veterans, their family members, caregivers and survivors to interact with highly trained, live customer service representatives to answer their needs and concerns 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The hotline is a non-clinical, non-emergency, around-the-clock hotline for complaints, compliments, and recommendations, and can also provide a warm hand-off to the Veterans Crisis Line for Veterans who may be in crisis.
VEO also supports Veterans through coordination and integration of local VA and non-VA services with programming such as Veteran Friendly Communities Initiative, Community Veterans Engagement Boards (CVEB), and Veteran Experience Action Centers.
VA Modernization is committed to keeping our promise to deliver a stronger future for Veterans. That means Veterans and their families have a seamless, satisfying experience. And VA employees are equipped with the best-of-breed tools that deliver best-in-class customer service.
Learn more by following VA Modernization and transformation efforts at https://www.va.gov/modernization/.
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 are designed to give a closer look at the improvements VA is making in how we relate to, interact with, and ultimately serve our Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.
Angela Abel is an ad hoc blogger with VA’s Office of Modernization. Since 2003, Abel has served as a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Counselor and a VetSuccess on Campus Counselor. She has a master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from The Ohio State University.