Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
D.C. VA Medical Center Demonstrates Significant Improvement: VA Makes System-Wide Enhancements to Prevent Future Issues
March 7, 2018, 10:33:00 AM
WASHINGTON — Today, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) outlined a series of major improvements undertaken at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center (DCVAMC) in the 11 months since the VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released an interim report critical of the medical center.
In April 2017, VA Secretary David Shulkin immediately began replacing key members of the leadership team, bringing in Larry Connell as the acting medical center director. In addition to Connell, the facility also has a new acting deputy director, acting assistant director, a new nurse executive and a new chief of logistics.
“We appreciate the work of the OIG,” Shulkin said. “Their report is a critical step in improving the overall performance of this facility. Further, it is especially valuable as VA strives to markedly improve the care we provide to our Veterans and as we move forward in restoring Veterans’ confidence in the medical care they receive.”
Important actions taken and progress made at the DCVAMC include:
- Eliminated all pending prosthetics consults greater than 30 days – from 9,000 to zero.
- Established the Incident Command Center (ICC), providing for a robust oversight process that identified and promptly addressed new supply or equipment shortages, and instituted a 24-hour hotline for ordering urgent and emergent medical supplies.
- Awarded a contract to construct a 14,200-square-foot space for the Sterile Processing Service. The $8.9 million project will be completed in March 2019.
- Transitioned inventory to the General Inventory Package, and the periodic automatic replenishment levels are validated to ensure stock outages do not occur.
- Off-site, warehouse secured with restricted access to protect medical equipment and supplies.
- Thirty-six Logistics, Sterile Processing Service vacancies have been filled and seven positions remain under recruitment.
Shulkin also announced several proactive steps to help correct and prevent similar problems, including: tasking independent health-care management experts to begin making unannounced on-site audits at VA facilities, VA-wide staffing reviews, restructuring logistics to decentralize accountability, establishing new governance oversight for medical center performance and restructuring VA Central Office.
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