Epic Improves Access to Care for Ohio Veterans

Columbus VA clinic sees reductions in wait times after Epic implementation

Veterans now have a greater say in their own healthcare after the implementation of Epic’s scheduling software at the Columbus, Ohio VA. In partnership with Leidos, the Medical Appointment Scheduling System pilot project launched on time and under budget in April with positive reports.

“Epic makes it easier for schedulers to see providers’ availability and match patients to available time slots,” said Dan Sullivan, Epic Vice President of Implementation. “We’ve seen wait times for appointments decrease since the launch, which means veterans can get in to see their doctor more quickly.”

Using MyChart, veterans at the Columbus VA now have the ability to schedule, cancel, and manage their own appointments online, improving convenience and access to care. As a result, no-show rates have decreased and are expected to continue to fall because patients can now make appointment changes outside of business hours and no longer have to speak with someone on the phone if they need to cancel or reschedule.

The increased flexibility has also enabled providers to see more patients. When patients cancel instead of no-show, schedulers have the opportunity to fill those available times in a provider’s day. Veterans who might otherwise have had to wait to be seen, can now get the care they need more quickly.

“The schedulers love it,” said Joanne Kusko, a group practice manager at the Columbus VA.

While the MASS pilot project is slated to run through at least April 2019, Leidos Vice President for Veterans Health Will Johnson said, “We communicated to the VA that we are able to do a national deployment in 24 months. We can do that for less than $350 million.” This would represent almost half the original cost of the project at about twice the speed.

Read more about Epic’s VA scheduling project here.