Transforming Culture and Collaboration at the VHA

By Masoud Rabie

For today’s healthcare HR executive, recruiting and retaining the best talent is more challenging than ever before. Employers need to stimulate and support staff members who increasingly work in virtual teams. With an uptick in mergers and acquisitions, it’s difficult to preserve an organizational culture and institutional knowledge. And the enormous cost of turnover has a real impact on the bottom line. At the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the VA Pulse digital workforce hub is a key to overcoming these HR challenges.

VHA, the healthcare delivery arm of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), rivals Fortune 10 companies in its size and scope, serving more than 9 million veterans annually at 2,000 facilities nationwide. Its diverse and expansive labor force of more than 200,000 employees—many who work virtually—operates within a bureaucratic, siloed management structure.

So VHA launched the VA Pulse platform with great ambitions:

  • empower employees to solve big challenges locally and across the enterprise 
  • retain and share institutional knowledge 
  • spread clinical best practices throughout the largest integrated health care system in the world.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. VA employees nationwide are using VA Pulse to develop a multitude of innovative projects and solve the most persistent problems. Whether launching a VA training program for 70,000 senior leaders, implementing a new data management platform across more than 150 VA medical centers, or working together to cut the backlog of veterans’ consult requests from 57,000 to fewer than 500 — it’s all happening on VA Pulse.

Powered by a tailored mix of technology, marketing, and focus on the employee experience, VA Pulse is a compelling case study relevant for anyone looking to educate, empower, and engage employees.