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Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General
Michael J. Missal, Inspector General

Report Summary

Title: Healthcare Inspection - Dental Service Infection Control and Leadership Issues, James J. Peters VA Medical Center Bronx, New York
Report Number: 12-01342-263 Download
Issue Date: 8/30/2012
City/State: Bronx, NY
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted

OIG evaluated allegations regarding Dental Service at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center (facility), Bronx, NY. Specifically, the complainant alleged issues with infection control, oral surgery student oversight, and dental service leadership. We did not substantiate the allegations of inadequate infection control practices, that the dental clinic had not been thoroughly inspected for years, or that inspections were scripted. We did not substantiate or refute that students worked independently in the Oral Surgery Clinic. We did not substantiate the allegations of poor or indifferent Dental Service leadership. We found that the ratio of dental assistants to practitioners fell short of Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA’s) recommendations and impacted the work flow and patient volume handled by the clinic. Further, the low dental assistant staffing levels contributed to problems with availability, accountability, supervision, and morale. Therefore, we recommended that facility managers assess and adjust staffing ratios for dental assistants to practitioners to bring them into compliance with VHA recommendations.