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VA Digital Strategy

Milestone 7.2

 

Milestone 7.2: Optimize at least two existing priority customer-facing services for mobile use and publish a plan for improving additional existing services.

VA has completed Milestone 7.2. The VA response is provided below.

VA Mobile Applications

VA is actively engaged in development mobile appilcations for use by Veterans and their Caregivers, and the general public. Three recently released apps include PTSD Coach, PE Coach, and PFA Mobile. These apps were created by the VA's National Center for PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)and DoD's National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

PTSD Coach

The PTSD Coach mobile app provides Veterans immediate access to tools and resources for managing posttraumatic stress symptoms. It provides information on treatments that work; tools for screening and tracking symptoms; convenient, easy-to-use skills for handling stress symptoms; and direct links to support and help. Read more...

PE Coach

Prolonged Exposure (PE) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD that helps patients decrease distress about trauma. PE therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. PE Coach is a mobile application for patients to use with their therapists during PE therapy for PTSD. PE Coach is a treatment companion that helps patients and their therapists work through the PE treatment manual. Read more...

PFA Mobile

Psychological First Aid (PFA) Mobile is an app designed for first responders to use following disasters or emergencies. This mobile app provides information based on the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide. It provides the eight core PFA actions; matches PFA interventions to specific stress reactions of survivors; mentoring tips; responder assessment tools; and the ability to assess and track survivors' needs. Read more...

Customer Engagement Approach (Milestone 7.2)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) used several methods to ascertain systems and services to satisfy the requirements of Milestones 2.1 and 7.1. Several data calls were made regarding planned, in-development, and provisioned SOA Services and mobile apps. Meetings and conference calls with program managers and systems engineers across departments validated the initial responses to the milestones. With clarification from CIO Council in July 2012, VA revised its data gathering approach. VA internally canvassed and prioritized its cadre of mission essential Information Systems and mobile apps to craft a response to best satisfy milestones 2.1 and 7.1.

VA recently established a mobile governance board structure that will be responsible for decisions concerning the development of mobile apps centrally managed by VA and for certification of all mobile apps to be published in a VA environment and/or branded as VA products. The highest-level board is the Mobile Application Governance Board (MAGB). MAGB will approve policies, procedures and decisions concerning mobile app development, acquisition, certification and publication; set standards and conventions for VA mobile applications; and ensure apps are assessed and certified prior to release or publishing, regardless of development source. The Mobile Application Management Team (MAMT) is a working-group and primary decision-support body to the MAGB. Through these governance boards, when fully implemented, VA will ensure not only that apps are created that leverage completed or underway efforts and satisfy VA standards, such as security and privacy, but also address the needs of our Veteran and Caregiver stakeholders, as well as the VA employees that serve them. With respect to Veterans and their Caregivers, existing pilot efforts will provide important information regarding the utility of these apps, and identify other apps beneficial to them.