The VA medical center in Indianapolis has already helped thousands of Hoosier Veterans through its new social media outreach. Using Facebook and Twitter, the medical center sends out emerging information almost daily.
The social media sites are found at www.facebook.com/VAIndianapolis and www.twitter.com/VAIndianapolis. Veterans are encouraged to sign up at these sites to be at the cutting edge for medical center communications, and to help spread these messages to their fellow Veterans.
“Followers”, as they are called on Twitter, regularly “retweet” the medical center’s messages, which gets the information spread out even further. Often a Veterans’ social media network includes other Veterans, who also know other Veterans. When the medical center’s messages are “shared” (or reposted) on Facebook, or retweeted on Twitter, more Veterans and their families get the emerging messages.
In addition to these tools, another new communications tool at the Veteran's disposal is the Suggestions Page on the Roudebush VA Medical Center Internet site. This simple page, located at www.indianapolis.va.gov/suggestions.asp, lets the Veterans and/or their family send a suggestion directly to a group of employees who will adjudicate their suggestion very quickly. The sender can remain anonymous, or fill in their name and email address so that a Patient Advocate can get back with them.
There are other well established ways for the Veteran and family to contact the medical center’s patient advocates using the internet. The VA calls it “customer service” and has a web page at www.indianapolis.va.gov/patients/customerservice.asp . There the Veteran will find more tools and phone numbers. As always, a patient or family member can contact the Inspector General directly – that information is found at http://www.indianapolis.va.gov/patients/patient_safety.asp
Additionally, the medical center has nearly 3000 Veterans receiving a direct email. Veteran Service Organizations, active duty and reserve units, and other Veteran-centric organizations are using this email subscription for current info. To subscribe, simple enter your email address in the Email Updates box on the home page, www.indianapolis.va.gov.
The medical center encourages all Veterans and family to take advantage of the new social media tools, Facebook and Twitter, and to share the messages with their fellow Veterans. If anyone would like to contact the medical center Public Affairs Officer for additional help/suggestions, please call (317) 988-9903.