New Scheduling Tool

Struggling to get a medical appointment will be a thing of the past once the Department of Veterans Affairs rolls out its Centralized Scheduling Solution (CSS).

Remember when trying to make an appointment involved talking to a clerk who might need to jerry rig an appointment and write it down in a notebook as a reminder to put it on the schedule later?

Remember when scheduling personnel were given performance bonuses for the number of appointments made for the date the veterans wanted them … while other appointment requests disappeared into the desk? Or the spreadsheets that
showed certain areas of the country with extremely high percentages of veterans not getting an appointment within 30
days? Too many of us ended up with no appointment, or appointments that weren’t on the date (or even in the month) we requested.

More modern methods and schedulers are using computers, but it has involved them making entries into multiple areas of the program. If you need to get an X-ray and see a doctor, that involves juggling times and availability for an X-ray slot, the equipment, a doctor’s schedule and even a room to see him in. The schedulers struggle, they say, going from section to section to find all the matching parts of an appointment. With the new CSS software program, schedulers will see color-coded sections on the screen with available slots clearly noted. One click and all the necessary parts and pieces of an appointment will fall into place and the appointment will be scheduled.

At this point, only one VA location (in Ohio) is set up with CSS, but more are coming.

The CSS software is part of the Electronic Health Record Modernization program, which electronically tracks all of a veteran’s health records. Started in 2018, it will take 10 years to be fully up and running, but CSS is a good partial step. (C) 2020 KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC.