Omura: VA dedicated to improving care at Dorn

January 22, 2014 

Omura

— Our dedicated employees at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center care deeply about their roles in serving the men and women who have worn the uniform of America’s military. We are committed to providing high-quality, safe and effective health care to our veterans.

We previously reported that a number of veterans experienced a delay in gastroenterology procedures in 2012. This was unacceptable. As a result of several actions, those delays have been eliminated.

All of us at Dorn offer our sincerest condolences to veterans who have been affected by the delays, and to those families who have lost a loved one. When we discovered these problems, we immediately reached out to those patients or family members to explain the situation. Going forward, we owe it to these families and our veterans to ensure that this problem is not repeated.

We are making multiple improvements to improve care: mobilizing providers from across the VA health system to increase on-site capacity and provide GI care to those who need it; taking advantage of the many private providers and hospitals throughout South Carolina to provide care as quickly as possible to all patients requiring GI procedures; tracking consults daily to ensure timely care is provided and to prevent future problems; and authorizing fee-based services with community providers to assist in care as warranted by clinical staff.

We also have made a determined effort to hire more staff to meet the demand for services, and a new full-time medical center director is expected to join our team in the near future.

When incidents occur in the VA health-care system, we are committed to identifying, mitigating and preventing additional patient-safety risks. In this case, we conducted a prompt review to identify the cause, took corrective actions and shared the lessons learned across the system to prevent a re-occurrence.

The VA has about 50,000 staff members making about 85 million appointments per year, across 1,700 sites. Veteran access to health care is a top priority for us, and we continuously are improving our processes to ensure that wait times are accurately captured and that veterans can get access to VA health care when they need it. Immediate access to emergency care is available 365 days a year.

Many of our employees or our family members are veterans; and we constantly strive to improve the care we provide. This is not only our mission; it’s our sacred trust.

David Omura

Medical Center Associate Director

William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center

Columbia

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