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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.

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Northeast Southeast Midwest | Northwest Southwest




Northeast

Dr. Shulkin observes prosthetics demonstration at Jamaica Plain VAMC

Dr. Shulkin observes prosthetics demonstration at Jamaica Plain VAMC

MyVA Advisory Committee talks progress, future

The MyVA Advisory Committee (MVAC) met in Boston this month to tour two facilities and learn about the cutting edge research occurring throughout the enterprise, including a prosthetics lab and the Million Veterans Program research lab at Jamaica Plain campus.

During the two-day meeting, the committee heard from front line staff, Veterans, researchers and local/national leadership about the changes ongoing at VA.   Read more...


Southeast

Suzanne M. Klinker serves as director of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. She has served in this leadership position since May 2012.

Suzanne M. Klinker serves as director of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. She has served in this leadership position since May 2012.

Accessible, safe, high-quality VA health care

There has been a lot of discussion and media coverage of recent about the Commission on Care and the report the group released publicly that included recommendations for the future of VA health care.  As VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald said on July 6, VA will continue to work with Congress, the Commission, other federal agencies and Veterans organizations as each recommendation is reviewed very closely.

Across the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, we are proud of the changes we have put in place to increase access to health care services and improve the quality of care. As the fourth largest VA healthcare system in the country, we served nearly 108,000 Veterans and completed more than 1.4 million outpatient appointments (about 4,000 appointments per day) across southwest Florida from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.   In addition, we provided nearly 31,600 authorizations for Veterans to receive care in the community in 2015 – a 40 percent increase in authorizations when compared to 2014.  These numbers continue to trend up as we approach the end of fiscal year 2016.  Read more...


Midwest

Eye doctors use a variety of tests to catch signs of glaucoma. Early detection and prompt treatment can prevent vision loss, but the condition is chronic and must be monitored for life. (Photo by Steven E. Smith)

Eye doctors use a variety of tests to catch signs of glaucoma. Early detection and prompt treatment can prevent vision loss, but the condition is chronic and must be monitored for life. (Photo by Steven E. Smith)

Study suggests stem cells could ward off glaucoma

An infusion of stem cells could help restore proper drainage for fluid-clogged eyes at risk for glaucoma. That's the upshot of a study led by a VA and University of Iowa team.

Researchers led by Dr. Markus Kuehn injected stem cells into the eyes of mice with glaucoma. The influx of cells regenerated the tiny, delicate patch of tissue known as the trabecular meshwork, which serves as a drain for the eyes to avoid fluid buildup. When fluid accumulates in the eye, the increase in pressure could lead to glaucoma. The disease damages the optic nerve and can result in blindness.   Read more...


Northwest

Dr. Clifford Porter, MD a surgeon with the Outpatient Surgery Program at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Dr. Clifford Porter, MD a surgeon with the Outpatient Surgery Program at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Outpatient Surgery Program at the U.S.A.F Academy

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System is pleased to announce a long-anticipated expansion of surgical care for our Southern Colorado Veterans. Our Outpatient Surgery Program at the U.S. Air Force Academy has been providing General & Orthopedic Surgery and both upper & lower endoscopy services since about 2011. But that’s not all - Veterans needing specialized ophthalmologic procedures such as cataract and other specialized eye surgeries have been getting world-class care from Air Force surgeons using operative space leased by VA Eastern Colorado!

Now, the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom VA Clinic in Colorado Springs will be expanding the Specialty care offered to our southern Colorado Veterans. This expansion will include a full-time VA Podiatrist beginning in mid-August, which will allow us to offer services such as chronic foot/ankle care and diabetic foot assessments. And this includes ambulatory surgeries at the Air Force Academy!   Read more...


Southwest

Nurses at the Safety Fair try to determine “what’s wrong with this picture.”

Nurses at the Safety Fair try to determine “what’s wrong with this picture.”

A Focus on Patient Safety

When Veterans check into a VA medical center for their appointments, they should not be worried that they may be mistaken for another patient and receive the wrong surgical procedure.  To emphasize the seriousness of that situation, staff at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque recently held a Safety Fair.

Improving the accuracy of patient identification was just one of several National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) focused on during the three-day fair. The NPSGs were developed by the Joint Commission.  An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. Read more...