VA Health Care: Weaknesses in Policies and Oversight Governing Medical Equipment Pose Risks to Veterans' Safety

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses patient safety incidents at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and potential strategies to address the underlying causes of those incidents. VA operates one of the largest integrated health care delivery systems in the United States, providing care to over 5.5 million veterans annually. Organized into 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN), VA's health care system includes 153 VA medical centers (VAMC) nationwide that offer a variety of outpatient, residential, and inpatient services. In providing health care services to veterans, clinicians at VAMCs use ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 3, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses patient safety incidents at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and potential strategies to address the underlying causes of those incidents. VA operates one of the largest integrated health care delivery systems in the United States, providing care to over 5.5 million veterans annually. Organized into 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN), VA's health care system includes 153 VA medical centers (VAMC) nationwide that offer a variety of outpatient, residential, and inpatient services. In providing health care services to veterans, clinicians at VAMCs use reusable medical equipment (RME), which is designed to be reused for multiple patients and includes such equipment as endoscopes and some surgical and dental instruments. Because RME is used when providing care to multiple veterans, this equipment must be reprocessed--that is, cleaned and disinfected or sterilized--between uses. VA has established requirements for VAMCs to follow when reprocessing RME, which are designed, in part, to help ensure the safety of the veterans who receive care at VAMCs. This testimony, based on our May 2011 report, which is being released today, examines issues related to veterans' safety, including (1) selected reprocessing requirements established in VA policies, based on their relevance to patient safety incidents and (2) VA's oversight of VAMCs' compliance with these selected requirements."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 3, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. VA Health Care: Weaknesses in Policies and Oversight Governing Medical Equipment Pose Risks to Veterans' Safety, text, May 3, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290761/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.