Case Study: Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Case Study: Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Business Solution:  Strategic Consulting, Budget Alignment, Healthcare Consulting

Challenge:  As a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) serves the needs of nine million enrolled Veterans each year. With 300,000 employees and a budget of $60B, the VHA is America’s largest integrated health care system. VHA provides care at their 1,255 care facilities, which includes 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient clinics with varying degrees of patient care complexities. The VA struggled to get Veterans timely access to doctors for treatment resulting in unsatisfactory care provided, and in some cases, deaths. The VA realized a cause of the access issue was an overabundance of non-aligned measures that caused confusion among VA staff and leadership on how to drive results.

Solution:  Pharos Group analyzed the VA’s 3500 current measures of strategic effectiveness, that in-part caused the VA’s access issues being faced by the Department, and began working with the executive leadership to hone these 3500 measures to just the right amount that would help the VHA glean a 360-degree view of the current issues being faced by the organization. Before Pharos Group could do that, we had to merge several different strategic planning models and processes currently in use by the VHA leadership. Our team facilitated, developed, and aligned all these strategies into one VHA Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Strategic Plan, using our proprietary Organizational Survival Model. This allowed us to focus on the original goal discussed earlier. To hone their measures, our team led a series of strategic planning workshops that identified metrics in five core dimensions of operations (Workforce, Quality, Safety, Veteran Experience, and Access). Throughout the process, meetings were held to brief progress with the highest levels of VA Leadership, to include, the Acting Under Secretary, several Deputy Under Secretaries, and senior leadership throughout the organization. Pharos Group assisted in the creation, development, and continuous improvement of the organization’s resource allocation process to ensure VHA requirements were fully considered in the allocation process. Considering the sheer size and scale that VHA operates on, Pharos Group created and linked every aspect of the VHA Chief Financial Officer’s $60B budget decision matrix to their overarching strategy, to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Result:  The meetings, workshops, and consultation held with VHA executive leadership, senior officials, and management ensured their understanding of new requirements and the state of VHA’s organizational planning and performance. This ensured that the VHA’s leadership could tell its return-on-investment story to its oversight stakeholders. This model also gave the VHA’s executive leadership visibility to gaps in performance across VHA and what resources it would take to fill those voids. The culmination of Pharos Group’s facilitation, and Organizational Survival Model, reduced the VHA’s strategic measures from 3500 to less than 150 strategic leading and lagging, verifiable and validated measures of assessment within the five areas of Access, Veteran Experience, Workforce, Quality, and Safety.