We all agree that our veterans deserve the best medical care possible. However, a recent article published by the USA Today illustrates how confusion caused by the massive bureaucracy at the VA can pose a direct threat to patient safety. As reported, the VA cancelled 250,000 orders for diagnostic tests, sometime without consulting the doctors who ordered the tests and sometime without even telling the patient that the test had been cancelled. Apparently, the VA recently realized that “more than 325,000 orders for [radiology] scans of veteran patients had not been completed nationwide.” Although that problem is bad enough, the VA responded by simply cancelling 250,000 of those orders. The problem, however, is that the VA may not have followed appropriate procedures in cancelling these orders, resulting in a situation where necessary and potentially life-saving orders were “annihilated” along with duplicated or outdated orders. As the article reports, this resulted in a situation where VA employees “canceled thousands of radiology orders without checking first with doctors or patients.”
The VA simply cannot allow its massive and confusing administrative system stand in the way of appropriate patient care. The VA must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that our veterans receive the tests they need when they need them.
A link to the full article is below:
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