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Recent News

VHA’s Client Partners, Staff and Service Providers Help Shape New myVHA Client Portal Feature in Design Session

April 23, 2024
Client holds a tablet to sign into myVHA Client Portal

VHA Home HealthCare (VHA) is dedicated to providing high quality care and to partnering with clients and families to continuously improve our care and services. The myVHA client portal is a tool that was co-designed with clients and their family members to give clients greater control over how and when they receive care by providing them the ability to:

  1. See their schedules and related information in real-time;
  2. Reschedule or cancel visits without needing to phone VHA’s office;
  3. See which care provider is coming to their home.

myVHA launched in December 2023. Since then, over 1,000 clients have started using the portal regularly to check and adjust their schedules and obtain information about their care team. As part of VHA’s commitment to continuous improvement, VHA is working with client partners to determine ways to make the myVHA client portal even more useful. As a result of these discussions, VHA is now developing a chatbot feature for myVHA.

In March, VHA’s Digital Support & Solutions and Innovation teams facilitated a Design Session with client partners and frontline staff/service providers, along with industry developers from Zoft and GoldCare, to discuss the chatbot functionality and determine what clients could envision themselves asking the chatbot.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program designed to have human-like conversations with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Chatbots can help provide faster customer service by providing information, answering questions, and completing certain tasks. AI chatbots are becoming popular within customer service areas in many industries including telecommunications, financial banking, etc.

In her introduction to all participants to launch the design session, Nicole Iancovitz, VHA’s Manager of Digital Transformation, said: “What we are really looking for through today’s session is to get to the crux of what you would like the myVHA chatbot to be able to do.”

An illustration of the myVHA chatbot digital brainstorming session.

Ideas from participants were captured on virtual sticky notes on a digital whiteboard during the myVHA Chatbot Design Session.

Brainstorming done by clients, for clients.

In the Design Session, VHA’s client partners came together with staff and service providers to brainstorm and generate ideas about the types of questions they would like the myVHA chatbot to answer.

More than 20 participants discussed and brainstormed ideas, with one group focused on questions related to Scheduling and News, while the other group turned their attention to Additional Resources and Supports the chatbot might be able to provide to clients. Following brainstorming, each participant then prioritized the most important questions for the chatbot to be able to answer by ranking them using “thumbs up” symbols.

Participants identified prompts they felt would be most beneficial for the chatbot should be able to answer like:

  • How can I book new appointments?
  • How can I reschedule an appointment?
  • Can I share my schedule with others? How do I do that?
  • How can I cancel my visit, and how much in advance can I send a notice?
  • What should I do to prepare before my appointment?

With the help of this design session, VHA’s team can now work on creating a personalized experience for clients and families through our AI chatbot, providing helpful information, answering specific questions about their care, or helping them navigate the myVHA portal.

Commenting on the importance and benefit of the session, Alistair Forsyth, VHA’s Vice President of Digital Health & Chief Information Officer, said: “Our focus is to make user experience more seamless, much easier, and requiring less effort and navigation by the client or the family member who is accessing myVHA. The first level of that support is getting basic questions answered. Our goal is to have the myVHA AI chatbot provide some of that support by answering simple questions like “When is my next visit?” for example, or by routing clients to the appropriate person on their care team if the chatbot is not able to answer the question.” We’re starting small to ensure that we’re able to deliver a high-quality service, while managing potential risks and ethical considerations related to the use of AI.

myVHA is one of the many ongoing initiatives at VHA aimed at improving client experience and we are excited to share our progress over the months ahead. Look forward to future updates as more features are released. To learn more about the myVHA client portal or to register and access the portal, please visit

Can I be involved in future Design Sessions as a VHA Client Partner?

VHA regularly collaborates with client partners to improve the client experience, make our services better, meet the needs of all our clients and much more! Client partners help VHA deliver the highest quality care to our clients and families by driving improvement.

The myVHA Chatbot Design Session is just one example of the ways our client partners are involved when they join the conversation and share their voice with VHA!

By volunteering as a client partner you will represent the many clients and caregivers who receive care from VHA. Depending on your interests and time, your participation may include:

  • Providing quick feedback about a VHA process, experience with a service, or your view on a specific idea.
  • Participating in focus groups, design sessions, empathy mapping, or being a part of our Client and Family Caregiver Advisory Council.
  • Providing your personal experiences to help create or build programs, services, or system from scratch, or improve one that already exists.
  • Sharing your story. The stories you share can help VHA gain greater understanding of specific challenges so we can spot issues and find solutions.

Learn more about Client and Family Voice at VHA and register to become a Client Partner.

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