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.
Introducing The Spine Board
There's power in numbers. A tumor board review enables doctors who are experts in a number of different specialties to review and discuss the medical condition and treatment options of patients with a challenging tumor. And now, similar to the objectives of a Tumor Board, the VA Maryland Health Care System is applying a comparable strategy for patients who've undergone surgery but continue to experience back pain. Enter, the multidisciplinary Spine Board, an innovative approach to address the complex medical, physical, and mental health needs of dealing with chronic low back pain. Within the Spine Board, a group of specialist in various aspects of lumbar spine care gathers to discuss the best clinical options to help patients with lower back pain. Read more...
Women Veterans get specialized care at VA
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center introduced the Women's Health Program in 2007, and it's a good thing, too--the number of female Veterans has doubled in the last decade to 2.2 million nationwide.
The Women's Health Program at Charleston VAMC has grown over the last nine years with almost 9,000 women Veterans now enrolled. That's a significant number when you consider Charleston VAMC treated 63,000 Veterans in 2015--14 percent of the medical center's Veteran population. The program offers these Veterans a wealth of gender-specific health care including gynecology services, mammograms, breast and cervical cancer screening, maternity care and menopause symptom management, just to name a few. In fact, the program is a leader in gynecologic robotic surgery. Read more...
Stepping up care for chronic pain
Air Force Capt. Rick Correa suffered from decompression sickness after the B-52 he was navigating lost cabin pressure over Guam in 1988. Almost 30 years later, he is still feeling the effects. When it comes to chronic pain, Correa is not alone. Approximately 50 percent of male Veterans, and up to 75 percent of women Veterans, treated at VA experience chronic pain. This is pain that lasts for at least six months and may be attributed to physical findings, such as herniated disc – or, it may not be.
Pain signals are supposed to tell your body you are doing something wrong and causing damage, said Dr. Wesley Prickett. If your arm is on fire, the pain signal lets you know it hurts, and you put the fire out. With chronic pain, however, those signals may be dysfunctional. Read more...
Ultrasound-guided IV Adds To Patient Satisfaction
After donning a hospital gown, one of the first things most hospitalized patients experience at the beginning of their stay is the insertion of an intravenous (IV) line through which they receive hydrating fluids and medication.
Often this routine procedure goes smoothly and quickly. Sometimes, multiple attempts must be made to successfully place an IV line, for example when involving elderly and frail Veterans, and patients with a history of IV drug abuse, vascular disease, and kidney disease. Read more...
Phoenix VA opens renovated ‘cath lab’
New technology and added patient comfort are the cornerstones of a recently completed renovation to the cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab) at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, which held the grand re-opening in July to welcome staff back to the new, improved cath lab.
The cath lab is an examination room with special X-Ray equipment doctors use to see the heart’s blood supply and heart valves to treat diseases of the heart.
“We are continuously working to improve our facility and the care we provide to Veterans,” said Deborah Amdur, medical center director. “This project not only improves the capabilities of the cath lab, but makes it more comfortable and safe for the all the Veterans we are privileged to serve.” Read more...