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Quality of Care

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What's New at Your VA?

VA is constantly working to provide more excellent service and care for Veterans. This includes new programs and initiatives, advanced training, and renovations and improvements to enhance health care facilities. Each VA project is an opportunity to improve the delivery of services to America's heroes. Featured below are some of the exciting improvements in quality of care taking place around the country:  Click on the region below to find out what's new in that area.

Northwest Southwest Southeast Midwest Northeast


Northeast Southeast Midwest | Northwest Southwest



Northeast

HERL researchers utilize a state-of-the-art virtual reality system to test MeBot, a wheelchair that climbs stairs and traverses difficult terrain.

HERL researchers utilize a state-of-the-art virtual reality system to test MeBot, a wheelchair that climbs stairs and traverses difficult terrain.

20 Years of Innovative Wheelchair Technologies

In 1994, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC launched a creative new collaboration focused on using assistive technology to improve the lives of veterans with disabilities.

Twenty years later, this venture—called the Human Engineering Research Laboratories or HERL, for short—has grown into a global leader in researching and developing assistive technologies and equipment. It is also home to the VA Center of Excellence for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitative Engineering, which aims to improve the design, selection, configuration and use of wheelchairs and related technologies.

"HERL has become the model for collaboration between universities and VA across the country," says Dr. Steven Graham, VA Pittsburgh's associate chief of staff for research and development. Read more...


Southeast

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health, takes part in Atlanta VA’s Telehealth Intensive Care Unit (Tele-ICU) “Go Live” virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health, takes part in Atlanta VA’s Telehealth Intensive Care Unit (Tele-ICU) “Go Live” virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Technology used in Delivery of Intensive Care

On November 5, the Atlanta VA Medical Center leveraged the use of technology to establish Telehealth Intensive Care Unit (Tele-ICU) services in each of its intensive care rooms. During a “go live” virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony, Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health, used an advanced video conferencing system to connect with the VA Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management Philip Matkovsky in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tele-ICU is an advanced Telehealth program that makes Atlanta VA’s bedside data readily available to physicians and nurses in the Cincinnati monitoring center. This 24/7 feature adds a layer of continuous patient monitoring, even when local providers are out of the room assisting other critical patients. Read more...


Midwest

Veteran Arnold Weinberg demonstrates a ScripTalk Station to Lovell FHCC RN Linda Spriggs, who stopped by the White Cane Day display table. (Photo by Jayna Legg)

Veteran Arnold Weinberg demonstrates a ScripTalk Station to Lovell FHCC RN Linda Spriggs, who stopped by the White Cane Day display table. (Photo by Jayna Legg)

Lovell FHCC helps visually impaired Vets

What if you can’t see well enough to read the instructions on your prescription? Or what if you are color blind and don’t know if the outfit you want to put on in the morning is color-coordinated?

Lovell FHCC Veteran patient Arnold Weinberg can identify with those scenarios, and for that reason, he volunteered to man an information table at Lovell FHCC in November to promote White Cane Day, which promotes public awareness of those with visual impairments.

Weinberg and Lovell FHCC employee and patient George Groff demonstrated the latest high-tech gadgets they use every day to help them live fully with their visual impairments. They showed off several text-to-voice devices, such as the “ScripTalk Station” and something they called the “color talker.”  Read more...


Northwest

Patient David Elder watches television shows on his GetWellNetwork monitor on Nov. 17.

Patient David Elder watches television shows on his GetWellNetwork monitor on Nov. 17.

VASDHS Launches Interactive Engagement System

To create a more engaging and interactive experience for inpatients, VA San Diego Healthcare System is now one of 38 VA medical centers using a system called the GetWellNetwork. Launched three months ago in the San Diego VA Medical Surgical Oncology wing, this technology aims to empower and create a more satisfactory stay for patients.

“This tool helps us connect in greater ways than ever,” said Cathy Verkaaik, Associate Nurse Executive at VASDHS. “It allows inpatients to access entertainment and medical information in one place, allowing the health care team and the patient to more closely monitor their status.“ Read more...


Southwest

New slatted boards allows Prosthetics staff to customize storage space.

New slatted boards allows Prosthetics staff to customize storage space.

Prosthetics Renovation Improves Customer Service

Every day, the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center (JCMVAMC) Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Service provides equipment and services to approximately 40-50 patients and sometimes as many as 65 per day at the Muskogee hospital.

These range from items worn by the Veteran, such as an artificial limb or hearing aid; those that improve accessibility, such as ramps and vehicle modifications; to devices surgically placed in the Veteran, such as hips and pacemakers.

To meet patient demand and to improve customer service, the medical center completed a renovation of Prosthetics in June which included the addition of two new exam rooms and increased space for product storage and office space. Read more...