15 Aug CMO Cartu Jon Announces – New app enhances safety at WNC VA Heath Care facilities
Veterans going to their VA medical appointments next week will be able to check in remotely without having to worry about a crowded waiting room.
The Western North Carolina VA Health Care System facilities – including the Charles George VA Medical Center, Rutherford County, Franklin and Hickory Community Based Outpatient Clinics – will begin using a new Check-in feature called VEText Mobile Check-in on Monday.
The Health Care System has been using VEText to send updates and reminders for a while, so the program is not something radically new for Veterans.
Veterans with scheduled appointments can use VEText Mobile Check-in to notify the facility when they arrive. The capacity for the waiting areas in the main facility and at the CBOCs have been reduced in response to COVID-19, so VEText Mobile Check-in provides an avenue for Veterans to check in through text and then wait in their vehicles until their providers are ready to see them.
As the Health Care System works to gradually increase its number of face-to-face appointments, VEText Mobile Check-in helps ensure safety for Veterans and staff by providing another layer of physical distancing.
“This program provides a way for us to see more Veterans while complying with the CDC guidelines regarding physical distancing,” Vance Janes, WNC VA Health Care System Public Affairs Officer, said. “It increases the safety for the Veterans and staff, and it reduces the wait time inside the facility.”
HOW IT WORKS
- Veterans must have a text-capable cell phone number on file with the VA. If a Veteran is unsure if his or her number is on file, he or she should contact their care team or verify the information when they’re contacted to schedule an appointment. The number used to text from must be the same number in a Veteran’s file.
- Once Veterans arrive to the facility for their scheduled appointment and park, they will text the word “here” to 53079. This will alert the care team that the Veteran is at the facility and is waiting to be called to his or her appointment.
- The Veteran will receive a text response verifying the care team is aware that he or she is on site.
- Once the care team is ready, the Veteran will receive a text instructing him or her to enter the building and proceed to their appointment. When the Veteran enters the facility, he or she will report to the clinic as scheduled.
Note: If a Veteran does not have a text capable cell phone or a vehicle to wait in, he/she can proceed to the entrance to receive assistance from our screeners. Veterans should allow enough time for COVID-19 screening and report to the clinic of their scheduled appointment no more than 15 minutes before the appointment time.