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VA Western New York Healthcare System
Improved Access to Care with Direct Scheduling Initiative
December 23, 2016FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Evangeline Conley, Public Affairs Officer
Phone: (716) 862-8753 Cell: (716) 512-9338
VA Western New York Healthcare System Offers Improved Access to Care with Direct Scheduling Initiative
Buffalo, NY– Veterans who are enrolled at VA Western New York Healthcare System (VAWNYHS) began making appointments with their local VA Audiology and Optometry clinics on October 1. This is a significant change because enrolled Veterans previously had to visit their Primary Care Physician for a referral, even if they had no other health care issues. Veterans who may have primary care providers outside of VA can also take advantage of these VA services enhancing their quality of their lives as long as they are enrolled and eligible for VA health care.
This process improvement came from interviews with employees throughout the country who felt this change would save time for Veterans and free up Primary Care clinic time. Research confirmed that valuable Primary Care access was partially being used for routine Audiology and Optometry referrals. Direct Scheduling will save time for Veterans and free up clinical time for Primary Care doctors.
This change is part of a nation-wide VA rollout of Direct Scheduling to Audiology and Optometry clinics, which VA expects to complete by the end of 2016.
“Streamlining access to services and improving the Veteran experience is the outcome we are shooting for with Direct Scheduling,” said Brian G. Stiller, Director, VA Western New York Healthcare System. “It has the potential to decrease primary care wait times. Taking the lead in efforts like Direct Scheduling affirms our commitment to fostering a Veteran-centric culture of care which honors Veterans’ service and empowers Veterans to achieve optimum health and well-being.”
For more information on Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling at VAWNYHS contact: Audiology services: Call Audiology Clinic at 716-862-6095.
Optometry services: Call Buffalo Specialty Care Call Center at 716-862-8788 and Batavia at 585-297-1079.