Report Summary

Title: Healthcare Inspection – Delays for Outpatient Specialty Procedures, VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, Texas
Report Number: 12-03594-10
Issue Date: 10/23/2012
City/State: Dallas, TX
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: The VA Office of Inspector General Office of Healthcare Inspections conducted an inspection to determine the validity of allegations regarding patient care delays at the
VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, TX. A complainant alleged that a dialysis patient waited more than 4 months for permanent vascular access and that ambulatory monitoring for a cardiac patient was delayed 3 months.
We substantiated that these and other patients experienced excessive wait times. For 5 recent referrals for vascular access, the time from referral to completion of a procedure was 89–138 days. For 213 patients scheduled for ambulatory cardiac monitoring, the average wait time was 68 days.
We also found that clinicians did not review referral requests, consultation reports were not linked to requests in the electronic health record as required, and that appointment dates requested by patients for vascular and cardiac procedures were incorrectly recorded by scheduling staff.
We recommended that the Facility Director ensure that patients receive timely vascular and cardiac care, that providers document review of consults in the electronic health record and link results to consult requests and that staff comply with VHA policy for scheduling outpatient appointments.