VA Employee’s Prescription Tracking Idea Wins Administration Cost-Cutting Contest

By Tom Shoop

December 23, 2013

The Veterans Affairs Department routinely mails out most of its outpatient prescriptions using U.S. mail, and if veterans want to check on the status of their prescriptions, they must pick up the phone and give their local VA medical center a call.

Kenneth Siehr had an idea to change that, and it has earned him this year’s Obama administration SAVE Award, honoring the federal employee who comes up with the most innovative cost-cutting proposal.

Siehr suggested allowing veterans to track the delivery of mailed prescription medications online using VA’s web-based portal, MyHealtheVet.  That, he said, would both save pharmacy staff time and provide better customer service.

The Office of Management and Budget unveiled the four finalists for the SAVE Award last week. It then conducted a public vote to determine the winner. Siehr’s idea received more than 16,000 votes out of more than 33,000 cast.

Each of the final four SAVE Award proposals will be included in the Obama administration’s next budget. All of the other entries in the contest will be evaluated for potential submission, too, said OMB Director Sylvia Burwell in a blog post.

Siehr, like previous SAVE Award winners, gets the opportunity to meet with President Obama at the White House to discuss his idea.

(Image via EmiliaUngur/Shutterstock.com)


By Tom Shoop

December 23, 2013

http://www.govexec.com/management/2013/12/va-employees-prescription-tracking-idea-wins-administration-cost-cutting-contest/75917/