Did you know more than 9 million VA health care appointments go unutilized each year due to missed appointments?
To increase access to health care for all Veterans, the Veterans Health Administration has created VEText, an interactive mobile solution to remind Veterans of upcoming appointments via text messaging. Our goal is to offer a quick and easy way to confirm and/or cancel appointments and then make every attempt to schedule another Veteran into that time slot.
By mid-April 2018, Veterans throughout VISN 4 will begin to receive interactive VEText appointment reminders on their mobile devices. Every enrolled Veteran with a cell phone number listed in their health record is automatically enrolled in the program, so it is very important for Veterans to ensure that your local medical center has your current phone numbers. Veterans may update their phone numbers during check-in at their next appointment, or use the self-service kiosks located throughout our facilities.
The first text message reminder will be sent seven days before the appointment, and a second reminder text message will be sent two days day before the appointment. The timing/frequency of the reminders may vary by facility. Veterans should review the date and time of each appointment and use the prompts provided in the message to either confirm or cancel the appointment. Veterans with multiple appointments on the same day will receive multiple reminders.
The VEText system also has an easy to use opt-out process for Veterans who do not want to use the text messaging reminders. Simply reply to the text message with "STOP." Additionally, all appointment reminder messages contain instructions on how to end the message delivery. If you want to restart the text message appointment reminders, simply text "START" to a previous reminder message and service will resume.
VEText works for VA health care appointments only and the text messages do not currently replace the letters and automated phone calls Veterans already receive for appointment reminders.
Text messaging rates may apply depending on your individual cell phone plan.
For a preview of the VEText messaging, text the word DEMO to 909-245-9443.