In 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) placed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on the High Risk List, which means that VA is at risk of failing in its mission to provide health care and benefits to U.S. Veterans. ERPi supports VA’s efforts to earn removal from the High Risk List through our work with the Office of Regulatory and Administrative Affairs (ORAA) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), work that involves addressing ambiguous policies and inconsistent processes. ERPi designed and implemented a uniform policy development process that incorporates stakeholder feedback to facilitate uniform nationwide implementation, clearly allocates responsibility for standards and delivery of medical care, and reduces average policy development time by two-thirds. To date, with ERPi support, VHA has updated more than 50 percent of its outdated policies and received accolades from GAO for its progress in addressing these needs.
Why This Work Matters
Policies are the fundamental standards by which VHA operates and provides health care to our nation’s Veterans. Without clear policies and consistent processes, VHA cannot uniformly deliver the highest-quality medical care for Veterans and their families. Increasing the efficiency of the policy development process while updating policies to reflect contemporary best practices helps ensure that VHA can meet the organizational needs of its staff and the healthcare needs of a diverse Veteran population.
Making a Difference
ERPi has a successful track record of supporting senior VHA leaders and national stakeholders who are critical to achieving VA’s mission. ERPi’s policy development process framework reduced the time from policy conception to publication from 3 years to 140 days, and in less than 3 years, it reduced overdue policies by 58 percent. Our work with VHA and ORAA to update policy and streamline the policy development process helps ensure that VHA delivers outstanding care to Veterans in a manner that is equitable, compassionate, and sustainable.