Neil Barretts’ Idea… A central clearinghouse for info on both good and bad VA sites…

FROM NEIL BARRETT

12/10/2016

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Hi all,

I wanted to tell you about a small project that I’ve been working on to help veterans with their VA Healthcare.

For the past five years, I have been receiving healthcare through the VA and have been to close to 20 different hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the country. One thing that I’ve noticed is that the quality of care is all across the board. I have been to clinics in some places where it’s very clear that my quality of life, as a vet, is their number one interest.

On the other hand, I have been to other clinics where, from my perspective, I am nothing more than a number. For obvious reasons, I try my hardest to avoid those clinics. That said, I can’t find any sort of central location where I have a heads up of what to expect when going to a new clinic.

From this, I built a website called VAreview.net. Basically, I researched and created a page for every single VA hospital and clinic in the United States (a little over 1,000 locations). From there, veterans can rate their experience at that particular location. Think Yelp but specifically for the VA.

My hope is that as more and more users provide feedback, some trends may be begin to emerge. We, as veterans, can then take this information and provide the collective feedback to the leadership of the VA so that they can allocate resources to the areas of weakness and also learn from the areas of strength.

Also, while in the military, I was always taught that asking for help is considered to be a sign of weakness. It took me many years to realize that getting help for my physical and mental ailments wasn’t me being weak but was the only way I was going to get better. I have hope that other veterans sharing their experiences with the VA will provide the needed courage to get the treatment they need.

The big hurdle here is gathering feedback. I suspect that almost everyone reading this has likely spent some time at one or more VA’s in the country. All I ask is that you stop by the website and write a few sentences about your experience so that we, as a community, can find out what’s working and what’s not.

I should mention that I spent a good amount of time building this website and have no ulterior motives here other than building a voice for the veteran population in the hopes that we can improve upon our system. I intentionally creating this website as a place that can be built upon and maintained as a community so there’s no individual bias involved.

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I think it’s a great idea…What do you think?  You can check out his site here:  VAreview.net

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