Veterans seen at VA Central Ohio Healthcare System facilities can now schedule their medical visits using a new online tool, called My VA Health, which uses VA’s new Centralized Scheduling Solution (CSS). The new tool, which rolled out Aug. 22, is an all-in-one system that provides Veterans with cutting-edge capabilities to make and manage their appointments. CSS also adds an extra layer of patient safety by helping facility staff identify Veterans at risk for missing critical health care visits.
“Our rollout of My VA Health and the Centralized Scheduling Solution has been a monumental success,” said John H. Windom, executive director of VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization (OEHRM). “This modernized system will lead to better care for our Veterans and is already making health care providers’ jobs easier.”
With VA’s previous system, health care providers would log in to multiple applications to coordinate appointment timing, equipment and personnel. The new system uses what OEHRM Chief Medical Officer Dr. Laura Kroupa called a “resource-based” approach to scheduling.
“It really brings together the provider, the patient, the nurse, the room — all the resources that are needed to take care of a Veteran — into one place, so they can all be scheduled at one time,” Kroupa said.
Vivian Hutson, director of the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System, said she was eager for her facilities to receive the new management tool.
“It felt like I was at NASA waiting for a launch,” Hutson said of the implementation event. “The amount of optimism was off the charts because we were fueled by one mission: how we can serve the Veterans.”
A modernized experience
The launch of CSS and My VA Health marks a major milestone in VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) effort.
Through EHRM, VA will move from using its existing electronic health record (EHR) system – the system that stores patient information and tracks all aspects of Veteran care – to a new EHR solution that is interoperable with the Department of Defense.
For Veterans who enlist after EHRM is complete, the new EHR will give VA providers secure access to a patient’s complete medical history from the time they entered military service through their transition to Veteran status. How VA’s EHRM effort will affect current Veterans depends on two primary factors: whether their records (prior conditions, lab results, etc.) already exist in a digital form and when EHRM is being implemented in their region.
In October, VA will complete its full EHRM deployment at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, which will include CSS and My VA Health. The EHRM implementation will continue at VA health care facilities across the country, region by region, through 2028.
Accessing My VA Health
During the transition to the full EHR system, Veterans at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System will continue to sign in as they do today through the My HealtheVet patient portal or VA.gov. Once there, they will have access to both My HealtheVet and the new My VA Health scheduling solution to request and book appointments, as appropriate. They will also still have the option to schedule visits by calling 614-257-5200.
Veterans who are patients at VA Central Ohio Healthcare System facilities and need more information about using My VA Health can call 888-444-MYVA or 888-444-6982, or visit the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System website.
For more information on CSS and VA’s EHRM program, visit www.ehrm.va.gov.
Established in June 2018, VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization manages the preparation, deployment and maintenance of VA’s new electronic health record system and associated health information technology tools. For more information about VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization program, visit https://www.ehrm.va.gov.
Army Veteran Ron Kapise is the acting chief Centralized Scheduling Solution officer for VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization. In this role, he leads the deployment of CSS for VA health care facilities across the nation.