August 25, 2014, 08:00:00 AM
Announces Request for Proposal for New Scheduling System
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System; the next step in a series of actions VA has taken to replace its antiquated legacy scheduling system. The new system will improve access to care for Veterans by providing medical schedulers with cutting-edge, management-based scheduling software. The RFP will be made public by the end of September 2014; eligible vendors will have 30 days to respond from the day of issuance.
“We want this process to be open to all eligible vendors to make sure the Nation’s Veterans have the full benefits the innovative marketplace has to offer,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “When we can put a solid scheduling system in place, this will free up more human resources to focus on direct Veterans’ care. As VA recommits to its mission of caring for Veterans and evaluating our actions through the lens of what serves them best, we know a better scheduling system is necessary to provide them the timely, quality health care that they have earned and deserve.”
VA will issue a draft RFP prior to releasing the full RFP to maximize industry and stakeholder input. The solicitation will require a two-part demonstration of capabilities: a written proposal and a technical demonstration to scheduling staff. VA hopes to award the contract by the end of the calendar year.
“VA chose a full- and open-competitive strategy to acquire a ‘commercial, off-the-shelf’ scheduling system,” said Stephen Warren, VA’s Chief Information Officer. “We want a system that is user-friendly and tailored specifically for our Veterans.”
Even as VA issues an RFP to replace the existing system, efforts are underway to make the current system easier to use for schedulers and Veterans. Among those enhancements:
As part of the current RFP preparation process, VA is working with Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) to incorporate the groups’ feedback on requirements important to Veterans. VA’s VSO partners are currently reviewing user experience and business process documentation, and VA will continue to consult with VSOs as it works toward publishing its acquisition solicitation.
VA’s acquisition process will comply with recently established legislative requirements related to the Department’s scheduling software.
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