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

Report Summary

Title: Healthcare Inspection – Laboratory Delays and Alleged Staff Training Issues, Memphis VA Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee
Report Number: 13-02599-311 Download
Issue Date: 9/16/2013
City/State: Memphis, TN
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted

OIG conducted a healthcare inspection to determine the merit of allegations related to laboratory delays impacting patient care and a lack of staff training in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service (PLMS) at the Memphis VA Medical Center, Memphis, TN (facility). OIG substantiated that urgent laboratory tests were not processed in a timely manner, and that a patient experienced a lengthy delay in treatment while waiting for laboratory test results. OIG did not substantiate that there were delays in reporting test results with critical values to ordering providers. We also did not substantiate that PLMS staff were not trained on vital laboratory equipment and processes. The Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and facility Directors concurred with OIG recommendations to ensure that processes be strengthened to ensure that laboratory turnaround times adhere to facility and VISN expectations, and to ensure that policies and processes are put in place to establish consistent and appropriate methods for data collection and analysis of laboratory test processing times.