Friday, February 8, 2019

Reminder, not all VA hospitals are the same

Dealing with my own health problems with civilian doctors and waiting for appointments, most of the time, in pain, like now. Understand me when I say that sending veterans into this system is wrong! They deserve better than what members of Congress have told us for years is bad for us. Remember the votes on killing the Affordable Care Act? Yep, that system!

Death rates, bedsores, ER wait times: Where every VA hospital lags or leads other medical care

USA Today 
Donovan Slack and John Kelly and James Sergent
February 7, 2019
The analysis produced some positive findings for the VA. As of June 30, a majority of VA hospitals reported lower death rates than other facilities. Many VA medical centers stacked up better on prevention of post-surgical complications such as blood clots.

When Navy veteran Phyllis Seleska, 66, arrived at the emergency room at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Loma Linda, California, in August 2017, the waiting room was crowded with dozens of veterans, some in wheelchairs lined up to the entrance.

Seleska suffered throbbing pain after shattering her wrist but received no medication and had to wait more than seven hours to see a doctor, records show. By then, the orthopedics staff had gone home. A nurse strapped a Velcro splint on her wrist and told her to come back in the morning.

“I don’t know why it took so long to get back there to be told, 'We can’t do anything to help you,' ” said Seleska, who worked on the flight deck of aircraft carriers in both Iraq wars.

Her experience wasn’t unusual. At roughly 70 percent of VA hospitals, the median time between arrival in the emergency room and admission was longer than at other hospitals, in some cases by hours, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the department’s data. That included Loma Linda, where the median wait is more than 7½ hours.

The USA TODAY analysis provides the most comprehensive picture of how 146 VA medical centers compare with other health care facilities on an array of factors. The analysis is based on scores of spreadsheets the VA posted online in recent years containing comparisons of its medical centers with non-VA averages on everything from the ER wait times to infection rates and patient-survey results.
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