The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2), a $50 million department-wide program seeks promising innovations from employees, private sector, non-profits, and academia to help veterans have access to VA healthcare and benefits. The goal is to improve the quality of services delivered, improve VA operations, and reduce or control costs delivering services.
Innovative ideas are needed to:
• Enhance Maternity Continuity of Care—in 2010, the VA was authorized to cover the costs of post-delivery care for newborn children of veterans receiving maternity care from VA. The Maternity Tracker is envisioned to help VHA provide new levels of continuity of care for the growing number of female veterans receiving fee basis or contract maternity care outside of the VA system
• Redesign the PTSD Treatment Experience—many veterans are reluctant to seek mental health treatment due to the symptoms of PTSD. The VA is looking to find innovative ways to redesign the experience that veterans encounter when undergoing PTSD treatment
• Create mobile applications for e-benefits information and services—VBA and VAi2 envision a mobile app for e-benefits to enable veterans to check the status of their claim, submit First Notice of Death, ask questions, update information, and change direct deposit information from their smart phone or tablet
• Prevent and treat pressure ulcers—the VAi2 seeks ways to leverage training, develop new forms of specialized care, and provide for data collection and analytics to further advance preventing and caring for veterans with pressure ulcers
The 2010 and 2011 Industry Innovation Competitions resulted in nearly 600 ideas submitted from industry across eleven topic areas. In total 37 projects are underway and are now in various stages of project design, developing testing, and evaluating results.
Sweetspot Diabetes Care one of the previous awardees developed an initiative that remotely is able to monitor blood glucose levels in veterans. Now veterans can stay at home and send data from their blood glucose testing devices to VistA. Healthcare providers are able to monitor the information and receive alerts when readings indicate that a patient may have complications due to poorly controlled glucose levels.
The deadline to submit concept papers is May 29, 2012 and a webinar will be held April 10, 2012 to cover the topic areas. For more information, go to www.va.gov/vai2.