An expanding program needed a comprehensive support structure to succeed. VA partnered with Aptive, bringing caregiver experts and experienced VA program managers and change management practitioners to the table.
Performance measurement and evaluation
The first step in providing caregivers services and resources is acclimating them once they’ve joined PCAFC. With more eligible Veterans applying, VA needed to process applications promptly.
To address this challenge, Aptive created a unique process to gather national data to streamline and standardize the program acceptance process. Collected data yielded information on program approvals and denials, which informed the creation of a webinar series that highlighted recommendations to improve efficiencies in assessing applicants and ensuring a standard of care for Veterans and their caregivers.
New policy framework
VA and Aptive created an entirely new policy framework to accompany the standardized applicant processing. This system allowed all VA personnel to understand and work within higher operating standards. The new policy framework included a centralized location for all relevant documents, refreshed standard operating procedures, directives, standardized responses and a PCAFC field guide to set the stage for PCAFC’s expansion.
Training and education
Behind the scenes, PCAFC underwent significant changes to move the program forward. However, one of the most critical aspects of the changes was ensuring all staff understood the program direction and how the changes affected specific roles within VA. To this end, Aptive supported VA’s training efforts by developing training plans, course curricula and accompanying materials. VA presented this information to over 2,400 staff through many, multi-day virtual conferences.
In addition to bringing VA employees up to speed on PCAFC changes, VA needed to communicate these changes and their impact to program participants and applicants.
Aptive created many tools for VA’s communications toolkit, including outreach and engagement plans, guidelines, press releases, talking points, social media and website materials, a host of printable content, videos and messaging options. In addition, we monitored the use and success of various communications practices, focusing efforts on methods that increased information dissemination.
Human resources support
VA needed a larger workforce to support the growing capacities of CSP. Over 18 months, Aptive helped VA hire 40 leaders who were instrumental in leading the program in its newly expanded direction, including a new national executive director and five assistant directors. Aptive also created a Microsoft PowerApp to organize and review information on prospective candidates, reducing the workload for VA human resources personnel.