VA Maryland Health Care System
Continuous Improvements at the VA
This summer, VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced his Top 5 Priorities for improving the VA on a national scale. They include offering greater choice for Veterans, modernizing our systems, focusing our resources more efficiently, improving timeliness of services, and suicide prevention.
Not surprisingly, these priorities are very much in line with what we want for Maryland's Veterans. In fact, they represent much of what we have been aiming to achieve locally as we transform the VA Maryland Health Care System, and you can learn more about some of our efforts in this newsletter.
For instance, our dedicated Suicide Prevention Team is frequently out and about in the community raising awareness of Veteran suicide, identifying those at risk, and promoting the resources and help available for Veterans. One thing is clear: no one can do this alone. That's why we are thankful for opportunities to join forces with others who share a common goal. Read about one such opportunity that took place in September 2017 during National Suicide Prevention Month.
When it comes to modern technology, I know that it can sometimes be a challenge to embrace a new way of doing things. For those of you who are hesitant, I encourage you to give the check-in kiosks or My HealtheVet a try. Once you get the hang of things, they really can improve your experience, and that's what we are working toward with modernizing our systems. For those who love technology, check out page 6 to learn more about our new VA Mobile App.
With regard to timeliness of services, you may recall reading in the last issue of this newsletter about our efforts to increase Veterans' access to care. I'm pleased to share that our latest measures indicate that 99.98% of new and established patients needing a primary care appointment throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System are seen within 30 days. This is a wonderful accomplishment and I hope you are noticing this improvement when scheduling your primary care appointments.
As we work to improve your VA health care experience throughout Maryland, I want to thank you for allowing us to serve your health care needs. I wish you and your family the best of health throughout the coming year.
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD
Director, VA Maryland Health Care System
VADM, MC, USN (RET)
36th Surgeon General, USN
To read the Health Watch newsletter, visit this site for an index of articles: https://www.maryland.va.gov/publications/HealthWatch/fallwinter17/index.asp