News : Veterans Affairs Opens Call Center in Tuskegee
Tuskegee, AL, April 16, 2015 -- Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System is working to make it easier for veterans to get the medical care they need in a timely manner, including establishing a customer service call center that opened Thursday at the East Campus in Tuskegee.
"Our main goal is to provide access for veterans," CAVHCS Interim Director Dr. Robin Jackson said. "The first point of access is the call center. It is about being able to reach someone when you call in, so by standing up that call center, we now have schedulers available, pharmacy technicians available as well as nurses available to answer the veterans’ calls when they call in to us."
In addition to scheduling appointments, the call center will be able to provide information on first aid procedures and medication, patient education and preparing for a procedure. and also provide support to caregivers about area resources, according to a press release from CAVHCS.
"When they call in, they can get scheduled for an appointment," Jackson said. "If they have questions, they can talk to a nurse and they can get their information. It is a seamless network of communication to provide that blanket of coverage and support for our veterans."
The call center includes a metrics board that keeps track of all the calls.
"We’re able to track how long it takes for each call to be answered," Jackson said. "Those are metrics that report locally as well as up to national metrics. Individuals who are working the calls can see if there is a delay in a call and they can make sure that they pick it up."
Gwendolyn- Tellis Smith, call center manager at CAVHCS, said the purpose of the center "is to give the veteran a direct contact with his healthcare. A veteran should be able to reach someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet his or her healthcare needs. During the daytime, he will be able to reach someone here at the call center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"For after hours from 4 p.m. until 8 a.m. the next morning, they will speak to a call center in Dayton , Ohio , and they will be able to access a veteran’s records and meet his or her needs," she said. "The next morning, if there is something that we need to take care of, that call center sends us a message during the night and we’ll be able to take care of the rest of his or her needs that they were not able to accommodate the night before."
Tuskegee City Manager Harvey Smith said the call center is a great addition to the city.
"We’re glad that they opened the call center in terms of assisting the veterans," Smith said. "It has taken the wait time off from the veterans being able to get to see a doctor."
Traci Solt , associate director of patient care services at CAVHCS, said the call center is bringing jobs to Tuskegee ."We’ve hired additional people in there, so the time that it takes us to actually hear a person has de-creased."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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