VA’s Office of Connected Care Help Desk (OCCHD) has provided telehealth technology support to Veterans and VA providers for over 10 years. On July 19, OCCHD hit a great milestone: It closed its one-millionth support ticket.

OCCHD supports Veterans’ and providers’ telehealth needs 24/7. Veterans and providers contact OCCHD for help with hardware and software issues related to telehealth. The help desk also assists Veterans with VA Video Connect test calls, assisting Veterans to become comfortable with the video-to-home technology prior to using it for clinical care.

In 2012, OCCHD started providing support for telehealth as the National Telehealth Technology Help Desk. At the time, the team was comprised of only 16 team members. Over the past 10 years, it merged with the Office of Connected Care Mobile Help Desk, changed its name and grew to meet increased customer demand. This was especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, OCCHD has more than 160 team members.

Expansion at a critical time

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, OCCHD support tickets from Veterans and providers increased rapidly, with more than 2,000 tickets coming in per day.

“Running the help desk takes a village,” said Zandra Lopez, OCCHD manager. Lopez oversaw much of the help desk’s expansion and played a major role in achieving the milestone of one-million closed tickets.

“When COVID-19 came along, we struggled,” said Bruce Jones, program analyst. “We got no sleep and worked around the clock. Eventually, we reached the point where we could address all Veteran and provider help desk calls in the contractual average answer speed. Watching the growth of this process from start to finish has just simply been phenomenal.”

The OCCHD team now serves around 1,800 Veterans and providers daily. The team continues to focus on high quality and efficiency. OCCHD’s average answer speed is 15 seconds per call. In a 2021 customer satisfaction survey, the help desk’s score for customer satisfaction was 4.7 out of 5.

“We’re really proud of the survey results being as high as they are,” said Leo Gillis, OCCHD senior operations manager at Iron Bow Technologies. “From an industry perspective, I consider the results to be best in class, and that’s a huge achievement.”

On a mission to serve Veterans

Throughout all its expansion efforts, the help desk’s mission has remained clear: Connect, serve and support our nation’s Veterans and VA providers.

“Hitting one-million closed support tickets speaks to the number of Veterans’ lives that we’ve positively impacted,” said Jo-Ellen Doldo, OCCHD senior program manager at Iron Bow Technologies. “Every inbound and outbound call OCCHD receives or makes enables a Veteran to attend a telehealth appointment. Patient care is our number one priority.”

Although celebrations are in order for the OCCHD team, their efforts won’t stop at one-million closed tickets. The team continues to work around the clock to assist Veterans and providers—no matter where they are.

For 24/7 technology support, both Veterans and VA providers can call OCCHD at 866-651-3180. VA providers can access the help desk through the OCCHD portal.

By Treva Lutes

Communications director of VA’s Office of Connected Care

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Published on Aug. 26, 2022

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  1. Sean Collins September 23, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    That’s awesome! All those at the VA behind the scenes doing an amazing job!

  2. Levis Whitfield September 1, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    I’m retired From NG of 27 can I get VA befits? I have Tri Care for lift. Thank You

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