VA Health Care: Reliability of Reported Outpatient Medical Appointment Wait Times and Scheduling Oversight Need Improvement

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Outpatient medical appointment wait times reported by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are unreliable. Wait times for outpatient medical appointments--referred to as medical appointments--are calculated as the number of days elapsed from the desired date, which is defined as the date on which the patient or health care provider wants the patient to be seen. The reliability of reported wait time performance measures is dependent on the consistency with which schedulers record the desired date in the scheduling system ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. Government Accountability Office. December 21, 2012.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 14 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Outpatient medical appointment wait times reported by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are unreliable. Wait times for outpatient medical appointments--referred to as medical appointments--are calculated as the number of days elapsed from the desired date, which is defined as the date on which the patient or health care provider wants the patient to be seen. The reliability of reported wait time performance measures is dependent on the consistency with which schedulers record the desired date in the scheduling system in accordance with VHA's scheduling policy. However, VHA's scheduling policy and training documents for recording desired date are unclear and do not ensure consistent use of the desired date. Some schedulers at Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMC) that GAO visited did not record the desired date correctly. For example, three schedulers changed the desired date based on appointment availability; this would have resulted in a reported wait time that was shorter than the patient actually experienced. VHA officials acknowledged limitations of measuring wait times based on desired date, and described additional information used to monitor veterans' access to medical appointments, including patient satisfaction survey results. Without reliable measurement of how long patients are waiting for medical appointments, however, VHA is less equipped to identify areas that need improvement and mitigate problems that contribute to wait times."

Subjects

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

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.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • December 21, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 14

Where

Geographical information about where this report originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

United States. Government Accountability Office. VA Health Care: Reliability of Reported Outpatient Medical Appointment Wait Times and Scheduling Oversight Need Improvement, report, December 21, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298464/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.