Priorities, smy-orities … five, six or ten … different ones almost every time you look … when it comes to the Department of Veterans Affairs (and federal agencies in general). It is time to do a little house cleaning as the new year begins because, in these times, on what the VA concentrates will dramatically change its operations in the coming years. For example, implementing the Mission Act listed below is no ‘small potatoes’ matter.
In his words, the Secretary of the VA, Mr. Wilkie, has now whittled down the Department of Veterans Affairs’ strategic priorities for 2019 to four:
Our first priority is customer service. That’s the prime directive. When Veterans come to VA, it is not up to them to get us to say yes. It’s up to us, you and me, to get Veterans to yes. That’s customer service. We’re going to make sure you’re trained and equipped to achieve that.
Our second priority, implementing the MISSION Act, will fundamentally transform VA healthcare. It will consolidate community care into a single program that’s easier for Veterans, families, community providers, and all of you to navigate. The MISSION Act also expands our family caregivers program to provide much-needed assistance to the people caring for some of our most needy Veterans day in and day out.
Our third priority is replacing our aging electronic health record. The new electronic health record will modernize our appointment system, automate our disability and payment claims systems, and connect VA to the Department of Defense, private healthcare providers, and private pharmacies. Implementing the electronic health record will be an ongoing, iterative process to build a continuum of care that’s organized around Veterans’ needs.
Our fourth priority is transforming our business systems. We’re modernizing human resource management, finance and acquisition, and our supply chain. It’s about giving you more leeway to manage budgets, recruit, retain, and relocate staff you need to serve Veterans. It’s also about more robust partnerships with state and local communities to address challenges like Veteran homelessness and suicide prevention, our top clinical priority.
As of 23 January 2019