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User Experience Becomes Focus for Veterans Affairs as Pandemic Continues

by Jackie Davis

Recently our colleagues at Government Technology Insider published this interesting perspective on how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how the Department of Veterans Affairs is approaching a key part of their mission – delivering healthcare to veterans. Like private sector healthcare providers user experience (UX) has become a central guiding factor in care and it’s producing positive results. Read on to learn more. 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way users interact with agencies. With stay at home orders in place and social distancing top of mind, agencies are focusing on connecting with citizens in new, digital ways that are centered around ease and flexibility – creating a better user experience.

In a recent InSecurity Podcast episode, Matt Stephenson, lead of broadcast media for Blackberry Cylance, and Jordan Devries, Director of User Experience at Brave UX, discussed the importance of the user experience to organizations and how having a positive experience works to better citizen outcomes. “If it’s not impacting a person or a human, you aren’t really doing user experience,” said Devries.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is just one example of an agency that is working to better user experience – especially important in the healthcare sector right now. In April, the VA reported the highest level of trust among veterans who receive VA healthcare services. With a focus on patient and user experience, the VA has seen a 5 percent increase in veteran trust in outpatient services. 

“These improvements are a testament to not only the VA’s investment in patient experience programs but also the dedication of our employees,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Even during a pandemic, our VA team has continued its steadfast commitment to delivering the highest quality care for our nation’s veterans.”

“I would argue that [customer experience] impacts how we can serve people and how we can leave a profound action on people,” shared Devries. The VA is leaving a positive impact on citizens by leveraging technology that puts the patient first. With the Veterans Signals customer feedback program, patients can share experiences and suggest improvements. 

“We’re very fortunate to have the capability to measure trust, how veterans are feeling about the VA, but particularly their healthcare,” Barbara Morton, deputy chief veterans experience officer of the VA. 

“The truest form of user experience is one person interfacing with another,” said Stephenson. While citizens and agencies may not be having face-to-face interactions right now, it makes the digital user experience even more important. To have a successful digital experience, agencies must look for partners that can provide the digital tools and security they need. 

Listen to the podcast here. 

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