Secretaries may come and go, but for the 300,000-plus people of the Veterans Affairs Department, work on behalf of the nation’s nearly 19 million veterans never stops. VA is by any measure a large organization. Beyond its own doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff, it relies on a network of contractors to maintain operations. Among the largest contractors is Leidos. Jon Scholl is president of the Health Group at Leidos. In this interview, he explains how Leidos supports VA on two fronts:
It enables information and services directly needed by VA employees
And it serves veterans directly at over 70 clinics, performing first-line disability examinations for the Veterans Benefits Administration.
Like other federal agencies, VA has been looking at its service from the point of view of veterans who deal with it. Delivering responsible and consistent service, Scholl says, depends on what he called “little data, big workflow.” By “little data” he’s referring to an individual’s own health records, as opposed to the accumulation of all health data that might be used for analytic purposes. By tying each individual’s own data to a carefully designed and comprehensive workflow, it’s possible to give veterans a seamless experience from booking and appointment to follow-up care information. Scholl says combining this little data into big data, and applying the right tools, can help VA management detect variations in service and quality from location to location. And then pinpoint and fix the problems. Scholl also explains how Leidos takes care of many routine-sounding buy crucial activities for VA. These include work on data center infrastructure support, helping reduce the disability claims backlog, and support for VA’s medical research programs. He also describes how the company is helping VA improve scheduling, and therefore access by veterans to its services.