VA’s new Patient Advocate Tracking System-Replacement (PATS-R) tool provides a more efficient way for Veterans and employees to resolve issues. The tool allows VA health care teams to collaboratively address Veterans’ needs quickly, reinforcing the culture that patient advocacy is the responsibility of every VA employee.
Modernizing Patient Advocacy
PATS-R – a web-based tool – marks an important step toward VA achieving exceptional customer experience. After years of research and development, PATS-R is now being used by 24,000 Patient Advocates and Service Line professionals at 151 VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) and community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) across the country.
PATS-R empowers employees to actively engage with Veterans at the point of service. This helps employees build a trusted relationship with Veterans. It also supports their patient experience with a technological solution for complaint resolution and service recovery.
Now that VA health care teams can collaborate in PATS-R, employees spend less time managing emails for information or service coordination. This simplicity and efficiency reduces response times and prevents loss of critical information in resolving Veterans’ issues.
“PATS-R has really modernized the way Patient Advocates complete their work,” said Katie Braun, a Veteran Experience Coordinator at the Pittsburgh VAMC. “The system has also encouraged advocacy at all levels, and within all services lines.”
Serving Veterans, Wherever They Are
PATS-R taps into VA-wide patient experience feedback. This means means that a Veteran’s complete interaction history with VHA follows them wherever they are. Employees at any facility can access previous Veteran interactions with VA, reducing wasted time and, in some cases, Veteran frustration from having to repeat the same information if they visit different facilities.
PATS-R integrates with other VA systems, such as the White House VA Hotline and Community Care to better track Veteran compliments and complaints. PATS-R also provides national real–time reporting. This helps VA identify trends at any one facility or across the regional Veteran Integrated Service Network. VA can then proactively develop solutions to address the root causes of issues, or determine what practices and processes are most helpful for Veterans.
“The PATS-R team has worked tirelessly to accomplish an immense task,” said Stan Moran, the VEO Business Lead for PATS-R. “The proof lies with the end users’ overall happiness with PATS-R.”
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.