The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) update on the “MyVA” transformation shows progress in serving veterans.

This is the third update of the semi-annual report on the effort to make VA the No. 1 customer-service agency in the Federal government.

“Guided by veterans’ needs, we’ve left old, unresponsive ways of doing business behind,” said Secretary Robert McDonald in the press release. “We’ve changed leadership. We’ve added staff. We’ve adjusted policies. We’re eliminating bureaucracy and unproductive work. We’re encouraging inno­vative approaches to serving veterans, and we’re sharing best practices across the department. In short, we’re making VA the high-performing organization that it can be, and that my fellow veterans expect and deserve.”

The MyVA program has five transformation strategies–improve the veteran experience, improve the employee experience, achieve support services excellence, establish a culture of continuous performance improvement, and enhance strategic partnerships.

According to the press release, key results in the report include:

  • Veteran trust of VA is on the rise. In June 2016, nearly 60 percent (as compared to 47 percent in December 2015) of veterans said they trust VA to fulfill the country’s commitment to veterans.
  • VA is completing more appointments, faster. In FY 2016, VA completed nearly 58 million appointments–1.2 million more than in FY 2015 and 3.2 million more than FY 2014.
  • Processing of disability claims is faster and more accurate. The average wait time to complete a claim has dropped by 65 percent, to 123 days.
  • Urgent care is more available, and wait times are down. By September 2016, the average wait time for a completed appointment was down to less than five days for primary care, less than seven days for specialty care, and less than three days for mental health care.
  • Veteran homelessness has been cut in half. It’s down 47 percent since 2010 nationwide.
  • Quality is improving. Eighty-two percent of VA facilities improved quality overall since the fourth quarter of FY 2015.

In regard to the upcoming administration change, MyVA is aiming to maintain and continue its momentum forward–noting the importance of support from the Federal government. As stated in the report, “Administrations change. Our collective commitment to veterans shouldn’t.”

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Kara Burns
Kara Burns
Kara Burns is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT.