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Lean Six Sigma is very much a part of the plan as the VA looks to long-term reform while increasing clinic hours and medical appointments. Here are the details, according to a recent article from Fierce Government.
- Currently, the Veterans Administration uses a 30-day maximum standard wait period from the time a veteran makes an appointment until he or she receives care.
- In a November action review, VA Secretary Robert McDonald vowed to focus on improving patient services as part of a greater plan for long-term reform.
- The VA has already added additional clinic hours and work days as well as mobile units to address the needs of veterans in a more timely manner. This has resulted in an additional 1.2 million appointments over a four month period, as compared to the same time period in 2013.
- The VA has also increased its referrals so that veterans can receive care from the private sector by 47 percent over 2013.
- Additionally, the VA has planned a Lean Six Sigma project that will study the acceptable wait times for patient care in the private sector, taking into consideration both primary and specialty care as well as differing geographical areas.
- It is hoped that the project will guide the VA in setting a new standard for acceptable wait times.
- Currently, the VA provides medical care to more than 311,000 veterans across the country.
Both the military and the private sector have turned to Lean Six Sigma as a way to increase efficiency and decrease waste, which results in better customer service.