The traditional access points through the Veterans’ Access Network continued to offer flexibility in nationally managing phone calls and face-to-face visits. The national network ensures the provision of continued and uninterrupted service to the veteran community should any one state or location be affected by a natural disaster, power outage or any other unforeseen event. This is supplemented by service models providing more intensive support to clients who have complex circumstances or multiple needs, such as ‘single point of contact’ style services.
DVA continues to expand existing contact channels from letter and phone call to include online services, SMS and email, and social media channels, including Twitter and YouTube.
The demand for the On Base Advisory Service continued to grow in 2013–14, ensuring that serving members have immediate access to information about DVA and onsite support from DVA staff.
DVA is committed to delivering more of its services online using modern, efficient and secure technology to meet the needs of its clients in a sustainable and ecologically responsible way.
DVA delivers online services to its clients in a way that suits them, without restricting access to those same services through traditional engagement channels. Online services include DVA’s MyAccount for veterans and their representatives, provider portals for third-party providers of services to veterans; and the ESO Portal (currently in development) supporting ex-service organisations in their engagement with the Department.
We are meeting the needs of our clients and their advocates, representatives and providers by providing sophisticated but simple-to-use online services, growing the capability of the organisation to respond flexibly to feedback from our clients and their representatives, and ensuring that we can harness the value of a more comprehensive understanding of the ongoing needs of our clients now and into the future. This enables the Department to become a trusted member of social media communities, where it can ‘be part of the conversation’ about how it is meeting the needs of its clients.
The new Veterans’ Home Care Pilot Provider Portal was released in June 2014, replacing the ageing service provider claiming application introduced in 2001. The new system will offer a streamlined user experience for service providers, and improve online business interactions with over 160 contracted VHC service providers.
DVA has worked closely with service providers to ensure that the system meets their needs. A comprehensive communications and training programme was undertaken throughout April–May 2014 to prepare both VHC service providers and affected DVA staff for this important change.
The new portal will include improved methods of downloading service plans and lodging claims for services provided to eligible veterans and war widows and widowers. It will also provide better management of information for service providers and control over staff access.
The portal is the beginning of a framework for the delivery of future improvements to the Department’s online service delivery capability and is being used to validate its broader provider online strategy.
The portal forms part of the broader Australian Government commitment to improve service delivery and accessibility.