Military veterans’ access to healthcare took a huge leap forward last year—and urgent care was a big factor, according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU). Working in conjunction with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the researchers concluded that MyVA Access, implemented in 2015, established sustainable solutions within VA facilities to improve veterans’ access to care. The study posed two fundamental questions: Has veterans’ access to urgent care improved as intended, and is the strategy of prioritizing urgent care appointments the better course of action? The answer to both questions was a definite yes, based on data collected from 140 VA health facilities across the country. A few highlights:
- Access-related patient satisfaction improved significantly.
- Complaints decreased significantly.
- Veteran-perceived access improved overall.
- The number of veterans per thousand who filed access-related complaints improved significantly in the period following the MyVA Access initiative.
- Improvements in access measures were generally consistent across facilities with differing baseline performance level designations.