VA Leverages Human-Centered Design to Improve Veteran Experience

As the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) modernizes digital services, the agency is taking a “digital-first” approach to improve the customer experience and build trust with the veteran, according to VA tech leaders at the 2023 HIMSS conference this week in Chicago. This calls for a paradigm shift, Deputy Director of Multi-Channel Technology at the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) Trisha Dang said during the conference.

To accomplish this, VA is leveraging human-centered design principles to center digital modernization strategies around the veteran experience. VA is leveraging digital twins at the front end of its infrastructure modernization, developing simulations and virtual blueprints of health care facilities to test structural layouts before construction begins. Through conducting these simulations, VA aims to minimize the risk of cost overruns and mitigate the risk of schedule delays, which could subsequently prevent the opening of a facility.

Traditionally, decision-makers have relied and focused on individual, operational metrics to drive strategy, which has hindered veteran trust in VA. VEO’s Executive Director of Multi-Channel Technology Nathan Sanfilippo said customer experience is now moving to the forefront, being equally as important as operational metrics. VA is looking to leverage AI and machine learning to draw insights from the veteran experience and develop data dashboards, according to VA Implementation Lead for Enterprise Measurement and Design Daniel Ostrow. These tech tools enable VA to get actionable data faster and analyze emerging trends to ultimately improve the veteran’s experience.

VA’s efforts to leverage human-centered design to improve the veteran experience is an important step in the right direction. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Veterans Experience Office, trust in the VA has risen from 55% to as high as 80%. This shows that focusing on customer experience can have a positive impact on trust.

Content source: GovernmentCIO Media & Research

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