News Release, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Pre-screening expedites Veteran access to facilities for care
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the launching of a digital COVID-19 screening tool to streamline Veteran access to medical care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The tool, designed with Veteran and staff input, enables the screening of more than 10,000 people each day.
Veterans, their caregivers and VA health care employees can use this tool on their mobile phones before entering facilities. It takes less than a minute to complete and helps reduce wait times, lowers exposure risk and eases patient stress. It also helps Veterans gain confidence with increased digital interactions as part of their VA health care experience.
“This screening tool emphasizes the ongoing importance of VA’s investment in digital modernization, as it went from initial concept to national availability in less than two weeks,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “In addition to providing a broad range of innovations and improvements that significantly benefit the Veterans we serve; our culture of innovation allows us to respond quickly to urgent and evolving needs.”
To protect patients and staff, VA screens everyone for coronavirus symptoms and exposure each time they enter a health facility. VA staff uses the information received to direct people to either enter the building or go to a designated area for additional screening.
Veterans, caregivers and staff can use the tool by texting the word “SCREEN” to 53079 or scan a dedicated QR code with their mobile phone to get a link to the tool. They then answer a series of simple questions and share their results at the VA facility entrance.