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

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinicians use expendable medical supplies--disposable items that are generally used one time--and reusable medical equipment (RME), which is designed to be reused for multiple patients. VA has policies that VA medical centers (VAMC) must follow when purchasing such supplies and equipment, tracking these items at VAMCs, and reprocessing--that is, cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing--RME. GAO was asked to evaluate (1) purchasing, tracking, and reprocessing requirements in VA policies and (2) VA's oversight of VAMCs' compliance with these requirements. GAO reviewed VA policies ... continued below

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

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinicians use expendable medical supplies--disposable items that are generally used one time--and reusable medical equipment (RME), which is designed to be reused for multiple patients. VA has policies that VA medical centers (VAMC) must follow when purchasing such supplies and equipment, tracking these items at VAMCs, and reprocessing--that is, cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing--RME. GAO was asked to evaluate (1) purchasing, tracking, and reprocessing requirements in VA policies and (2) VA's oversight of VAMCs' compliance with these requirements. GAO reviewed VA policies and selected two purchasing requirements, two tracking requirements, and two reprocessing requirements. At the six VAMCs GAO visited, GAO interviewed officials and reviewed documents to examine the adequacy of the selected requirements to help ensure veterans' safety. GAO also interviewed officials from VA headquarters and from six Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN), which oversee VAMCs, and obtained and reviewed documents regarding VA's oversight."

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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 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. VA Health Care: Weaknesses in Policies and Oversight Governing Medical Supplies and Equipment Pose Risks to Veterans' Safety, report, May 3, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299415/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.