An unannounced review of the Phoenix VA Healthcare System was conducted in early February 2018 by the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Office of Inspector General (OIG). These inspections occur approximately every three years and are evaluated according to the measures for that year.
The OIG’s concerns for February were centered around the following nine areas:
• Leadership and Organizational Risks;
• Quality, Safety, and Value;
• Credentialing and Privileging;
• Environment of Care;
• Medication Management;
• Mental Health Care;
• Long-Term Care;
• Women’s Health; and
• High-Risk Processes.
The facility became a target for scrutiny in 2014 when about 40 U.S. veterans died while waiting for care in light of falsified appointments and absurd wait times of several months. An investigation led by CNN in 2014 uncovered an “elaborate scheme” orchestrated by the Phoenix VA care system that involved shredding evidence of long waitlists and ordered employees to not make doctor appointments for veterans in the database.
In the eight areas inspected, the OIG found flaws in five, revealing issues with cleanliness and safety. Within the care environment, the inspection noted deficiencies in “personal protective equipment and environmental cleanliness,” as well as, “environmental safety, proper labeling of stored food items, and temperature monitoring in the dry food storage area in Nutrition and Food Services.”
While there was general compliance with quarterly reports in medication management, there were deficiencies with the following paperwork: monthly inspections, inspection patterns, and reconciliation of return to pharmacy stock requirements–according to the report.
The OIG issued 13 recommendations which supervisors are expected to act upon and comply with.
Spokeswoman for the Phoenix VA Cindy Dorfner, told AZCentral:
We welcome the opportunities that come with inspections, surveys and reviews of our hospital since they show us areas where we need to continue to improve the healthcare delivery for our veterans.
To read the full report, click here.
Read AZCentral’s article here.
Click here to read the Becker’s Hospital Review article.