|The new look of VA Medical Center websites.|
You may have noticed a change in your local VA Medical Center website. During October 2010 all 143 VA Medical Center websites have been updated to a new format. The new layout has been designed to improve websites for Veterans and their families, and to provide like information for all VA health facilities nationwide.
This national redesign is based on feedback from Veterans and VA facilities around the country, along with an extensive review of comparable health sector websites. Some of the Medical Center website features include:
Universal navigation. Based on top tasks, the site navigation has been aligned nationwide to provide Veterans consistent information across the country.
Neighboring VA facilities. Community-based outpatient clinics are listed on the home page, offering Veterans care closer to home. Other VA facilities like Vet Centers, VA benefits offices, and VA cemeteries are also listed for quick access to hours and contact information.
Calendar. Each VA Medical Center is a community in itself, and now has the ability to promote events and classes available to the public online.
Health care provider lists. This feature listing all independent licensed practitioners is coming to all Medical Centers over the next few months.
My HealtheVet. VA’s electronic health portal, My HealtheVet, allows Veterans to manage their health care from anywhere.
Feature stories. At its core VA health care is about people — Veterans, their families, and VA health professionals who provide care. Medical Center websites now offer local and national health stories that highlight real-life Veterans and the care they receive. Features will also include subjects like your Medical Center’s unique services, special events, and local topics of interest.
Social networks. VA Medical Centers are gradually adding a presence on Facebook, and some have started using Twitter. Medical Centers not yet using Facebook are making plans to join, and currently link to national Veterans health accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Easier reading. Font sizes have been increased overall for ease of reading, and the new home page layout takes advantage of the wider VA website layout introduced Veterans Day 2009.
Along with these features, more improvements are planned for the New Year. We hope you’ll find VA’s new Medical Center websites easy-to-use, functional, and organized around the information you need.