VA launches mobile COVID-19 screening tool

Veterans Health Care_202944

FILE – In this April 2, 2015, file photo, a visitor leaves the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over […]

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the launch of a COVID-19 screening tool, available online and on mobile devices, “to streamline Veteran access to medical care during the coronavirus pandemic.”

In the interest of patient and staff safety, all persons are screened for COVID-19 symptoms each time they enter a VA facility. The tool helps to alleviate some of the bottlenecking that comes as a result of the screening process.

Veterans will either text SCREEN to 53079 or scan a QR code to access the tool. They will then answer a series of screening questions concerning symptoms and recent contacts.

In less than a minute, Veterans can complete a pre-screening on their mobile device, which will help cut down on in-facility wait times, thereby lowering potential exposure to COVID-19. Those clear to enter the facility will receive an “approved” screen with a timestamp to present to staff at the facility entrance. Those who are not approved will be directed to an area for further screening.

The VA says that the tool also helps lower stress and give Veterans more experience with digital interactions.

VA Secretary, Robert Wilkie, said that the tool “went from initial concept to national availability in less than two weeks.” It is capable of screening over 10,000 people per day.

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