The Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System is known to have many issues in providing adequate care to patients. Long wait times and falsified records are at the center of the controversy surrounding the Phoenix’s Veteran’s Hospital that led to 40 patient deaths. An adequate compliance management program should have been in place to prevent such tragic and avoidable deaths.
The improper management of Phoenix VA led to an alleged 40 patient deaths, who were simply not seen soon enough. “Falsified waiting lists while their supervisors looked the other way or even directed it, result[ed] in chronic delays for veterans seeking care” (Associated Press). Across the country the VA is getting a bad rep for misallocated funds and poor patient care. In a word, the VA healthcare system has fallen into disgrace. Unethical practices of a well intentioned program leads one to question where it all went wrong.
The important issue here is how did these violations to regulations occur and what could be done to prevent them in the future? The practices of the VA could be a great learning opportunity for other healthcare organizations who do not want to risk lives, money, and the future of their organization.
The growing number of veterans requiring care has led to the VA being overcommitted and backlogged. The fact that the supervisors allowed falsified records to coverup the wait time scandal, and would ignore the complaints of doctors, showed there was no accountability for the superiors. They poorly led the organization without any regard to protocol, which had devastating effects for the patients. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are quoted saying the dismissal of the head of Phoenix veteran’s hospital, “finally sends the message to our veterans and VA employees that misconduct and mismanagement will not be tolerated” (Associated Press).
As of May 18th 2018, Trump has nominated Robert Wilkie to take on the daunting task of Veteran’s Affairs Secretary, who must now lead the VA healthcare system back into a good light. With a strong compliance management program the VA can be redeemed. Incident tracking, self auditing, and corrective action plans are a few ways HealthDox can help your healthcare organization steer clear of the lessons learned at the VA. Learn more here.