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.
Veterans with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) are in good hands at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS),” says Cardiologist Dr. Rosemarie Gambetta. A wide variety of medicines and advanced technologies are available to treat this disease that has become very common as the general population ages. Currently, she said, “the disease affects over 5 million Americans, and around 20 million people worldwide. “Risk of developing CHF increases not only with age, but is most often experienced by patients who already have coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.” She explained that essentially systolic CHF is the progressive weakening of the heart muscle to the degree that many patients find it hard to walk often accumulating fluid with difficulty breathing.
Dr. Gambetta says the first line of defense in treating CHF involves medications such as diuretics, then on to medications such as ace-inhibitors and beta-blockers that aid in strengthening and “remodeling” the heart. Read more...
A new technological system, scheduled to go live Oct. 7 at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, is able to serve as a second set of eyes in intensive care units from more than 600 miles away.
VISN 7 is establishing Telehealth Intensive Care Unit services, also known as Tele-ICU, at all VISN 7 facilities with Intensive Care Units.
An advanced Telehealth program, Tele-ICU uses a combination of technologies such as videoconferencing and electronic medical records to create a link between medical specialists and Veteran patients. It allows for continuous monitoring of Veterans receiving ICU care, even when local providers are out of the room assisting with other critical patients. Read more...
The Minneapolis VA Health Care System will participate in two major research projects focusing on nondrug approaches to pain.
The studies were announced last week by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
“Pain is the most common reason Americans turn to complementary and integrative health practices,” said Josephine P. Briggs, MD, Director of NCCAM. “The need for nondrug treatment options is a significant and urgent public health imperative. We believe this research will provide much-needed information that will help our military and their family members, and ultimately anyone suffering from chronic pain and related conditions.” Read more...
Flu season is quickly approaching and getting is flu shot is your first line of defense to protect you, your family, friends, and neighbors. Influenza ("flu") is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every winter, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by the influenza virus, and can be spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu, but the risk of getting the flu is highest among children. Symptoms come on suddenly and may last several days. They can include:
• sore throat
• muscle aches
Continuous Improvement Yields Advances in Care for Veterans.
To provide high-quality care to our diverse Veteran population, the El Paso VA Health Care System (EPVAHCS) strives to be a flexible, forward-looking facility. Implementing new programs and processes keeps us up-to-date with the current practices in the health care community. The EPVAHCS Systems Redesign program identifies performance and systems gaps; it looks at the level of performance in the system and the quality of the services or products provided to Veterans. Hearing from you, our Veterans, ensures that the improvements reflect your needs; your input fuels our continuous improvement efforts.
An important way that Veterans can influence change is by sharing their thoughts through survey tools like TruthPoint. TruthPoint is an anonymous way for Veterans to provide administrators with real-time feedback shortly after their experiences here. Read more...