DeFazio: Investigation confirmed 'problems' at Roseburg VA Healthcare System
ROSEBURG, Ore. - An investigation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found "problems with employee management and intimidation, medical care, and inadequate resources" at the Roseburg VA Healthcare System, Rep. Peter DeFazio said Thursday.
“I’m pleased to see that the VA has substantiated the numerous claims employees, patients, and former staff have raised with my office,” the Democrat from Springfield, Oregon, said. “The recommendations laid out in the summary are only the beginning, though—I will continue to work with stakeholders on the local, regional and national levels to ensure these recommendations are implemented and Oregon’s veterans and veterans nationwide get the care they deserve.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs’s Office of the Medical Inspector released a summary of findings "into allegations of mismanagement and substandard patient care within the Roseburg VA Healthcare System," according to DeFazio, who advocated for the investigation.
"Due to their findings, the VA issued 28 recommendations to local, regional and national level offices that have or will ultimately lead to significant improvements within VARHS as well as VA Medical Centers around the country," DeFazio's office said in a press release.
According to DeFazio, the recommendations made to the VA in Roseburg include:
- Refining and standardizing radiology procedures, leading to reduced patient wait times and faster diagnostic time;
- Improving communication between medical facilities within the area and ensuring adequate medical coverage for low-coverage departments;
- Removal of several staff members from supervisory responsibilities—in some cases, which has already occurred;
- Auditing of several medical cases with unfavorable patient outcomes; and
- Training of staff members on CREW, a VA-led culture change initiative.
“VARHS has suffered from years of mismanagement," DeFazio said, "and it is long past due that the VA implements lasting, meaningful change."