The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operates the United States’ largest integrated health care system, public or private, serving 8.5 million enrolled veteran beneficiaries with 1,100 facilities. For planning for such a large system, accurate and timely geographic analysis of facility and enrolled locations is required. Annually the VHA geocodes its list of beneficiaries and geocodes its inventory of facilities quarterly.
Recently, as demand for planning support grew, Duane Flemming, a director in the office of the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Policy and Planning in Washington, D.C., instituted a GIS mapping portal to link both staff and resources. The portal allows planners to see how current facility locations related spatially to the residential locations of beneficiaries. They can instantly identify drive-time service areas to quickly find under served areas that are densely populated with beneficiaries.
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Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern