* VANotify ensures that Veterans can be more easily and quickly communicated with, using modern channels that are more convenient
ThoughtWorks, a global software consultancy, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Office of Information and Technology (OIT), developed and launched VANotify, a tool that enables business lines at the VA to effortlessly send digital notifications to Veterans. ThoughtWorks worked in partnership with the VA to leverage modern digital technology and develop a centralized platform, VANotify, through which business lines and development teams can send notifications. Previously, to update Veterans on their benefits and other services, communications were sent primarily via mail and the VEText application.
The VA will use the application programming interface (API) that ThoughtWorks built to send emails and texts to support a broad range of functions, including confirming the receipt of benefits applications, notifying Veterans of changes to their VA account, and helping Veterans track their VA Pharmacy deliveries. Most recently, the VA used the feature as part of the overall communications plan for COVID-19 vaccinations. Over 200,000 Veterans received communications around vaccination planning through VANotify.
The VANotify codebase was originally branched from the UK and Canadian Digital Services' teams Notify, demonstrating ThoughtWorks' and VA's commitment to collaboration and the use of open source software to rapidly improve government services.
"We are incredibly proud of what we've been able to accomplish alongside the VA and look forward to building out new VANotify features in the coming months," said Chris Murphy, chief executive officer of ThoughtWorks North America. "Since VANotify's phased launch on October 21st, more than 1.5 million digital notifications have already been sent, with an open rate of about 70%. Even more importantly, we're humbled to know that our work modernizing VA communications is in a small way helping to improve the lives of our nation's Veterans."
"At the VA, we are constantly looking for new ways to enhance our service to Veterans, and partnering with software-driven firms has demonstrated the power of technology to transform customer experience," said Charles Worthington, chief technology officer for OIT. "By implementing the VANotify system, our Veterans now have almost instant assurance that their inquiries are being handled, while also cutting down the time our teams previously spent sending out paper communications and answering questions through our call center."
ThoughtWorks previously partnered with OIT to develop a chatbot that allowed Veterans to ask important questions about COVID-19 and VA benefits and services. The chatbot and VANotify are just two examples of how ThoughtWorks rapidly builds technology to drive immediate impact and value for clients. This work is part of ThoughtWorks' effort to bring better technology and best in class solutions to the public sector.
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