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Erie VA Medical Center

 

Erie VAMC Launches Audiology & Optometry Direct Scheduling Initiative

October 21, 2016

Print Version (PDF)

Click here to view or print the Direct Scheduling Fact Sheet.

10/21/2016 (Erie, PA) –Veterans eligible for health care at the Erie VA Medical Center (VAMC) will now be able to schedule routine ear (audiology) and eye (optometry) appointments directly with Erie VAMCs Audiology and Optometry specialty care clinics. 

Starting Monday, October 24, Erie VAMC will launch an Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling initiative which will allow Veterans direct and easy access to schedule their own appointments.  This means Veterans will no longer need a referral from their primary care provider before they can be seen in these two specialty clinics. 

To direct schedule a routine ear (Audiology) or eye (Optometry) appointment, Veterans can call 814-868-8661 and press #2; scheduling staff will be available to schedule an appointment and address patient needs.

Direct scheduling will eliminate unnecessary steps and unneeded waiting, which should decrease wait times even more and improve access for audiology and optometry clinics.  Primary care access should also improve as Veterans requiring only routine audiology or optometry referrals will no longer need to use primary care clinic resources.  

If you are a Veteran who has not enrolled in VA services or are unsure of your eligibility, please call Erie VAMCs Eligibility Clinic at 814-860-2970 to see if you are eligible for VA health care.

BACKGROUND

The MyVA Performance Improvement Team has been working with VA medical centers across the country to identify performance improvement opportunities and pilot programs that can positively impact the Veteran and employee experience. One opportunity, identified during sites visits, is the direct scheduling of patients in need of Audiology (hearing) and Optometry (eye) services without referrals though their respective Primary Care providers.

In 2015, VA launched pilots in three locations: Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS), White River Junction, VT and Mountain Home, TN.  The pilots gave Veterans (including traveling Veterans and those unassigned to a Primary Care provider) the option to directly schedule routine Audiology and Optometry appointments without the need for a Primary Care consult.  Because of the success of the pilots, we are now making this program available to Veterans at our facility.

As part of a national VA roll-out, Direct Scheduling for Audiology and Optometry will be available at the Erie VAMC starting Monday, October 24. 

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