Press Releases

VA Inspector General Report Reveals Quality of Care Deficiencies

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Washington, July 8, 2009 | comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General (IG) issued a report that revealed flaws in an internal investigation of allegations pertaining to substandard care at the VA medical center in Fort Harrison, Montana.

“This is the third time this year serious questions have been raised about the VA’s quality of care and patient safety record,” said Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affair Steve Buyer. “While I still believe that overall the quality of care at the VA hospitals is excellent, we must ensure that thorough external and internal quality of care peer reviews occur at all the VA facilities.”

The IG report revealed that the VA’s internal review process did not sufficiently address allegations about substandard care at the Fort Harrison facility. The allegations were verified by an external peer review that concluded that incomplete medical examinations and delayed or incorrect diagnoses led to permanent impairment of patients undergoing specialty care treatment.

Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Dr. Phil Roe, also expressed dismay over the findings.

“This report, along with other recent reports of medical errors at the VA, reinforces the need for senior management oversight on quality of patient care,” said Roe. “I call upon Secretary Shinseki to perform a comprehensive review of the VA’s patient safety procedures and protocols to ensure that adherence to such measures are deeply ingrained at the VA’s medical centers. There should also be a thorough review of how facilities conduct administrative boards of inquiry, and criteria should be established for external peer reviews.”

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Tags: Veterans