Federal report outlines issues at rural Kansas VA clinics

WICHITA, Kansas — KSN continues to investigate claims of insufficient care at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, demanding the answers our veterans deserve.

We continue asking the tough questions concerning the VA scandal.

In a report released Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the six community-based outpatient clinics across Kansas overseen by the Wichita VA, were reviewed and results suggested the need for improvements – especially in Parsons.

Outpatient facilities include Dodge City, Hays, Hutchinson, Liberal, Parsons, and Salina. Federal inspectors gathered data from the Parsons clinic in May.

The review was routine. It was scheduled prior to the so-called ‘VA scandal’ making national headlines.

The OIG’s report focused primarily on Parsons, indicating these issues:

  • Inadequate Staff Training
  • Failure to meet Emergency Preparedness Requirements
  • Poor Medication Management
  • No Hazardous Materials Inventory
  • No Panic Alarm System (Mental Health Concerns)

The list however, goes on. Personally identifiable information was reportedly not protected on lab specimens when they were transported.

The report also found that “adequate privacy” was not provided, specifically to female veterans.

The scheduling of patients was also a concern laid out in the OIG report. The Liberal clinic fared the worst when it came to meeting the VA’s goal of meeting wait times of fewer than seven days.

In September 2013, Liberal met that standard only 56% of the time, compared to the Dole VA’s 93% the same month.

The report has at least 17 recommendations for change at the VA clinics across rural Kansas, most of which pertain to the Parsons clinic specifically.

KSN reached out to the executive secretary to the medical director at the Wichita VA. In an emailed response Diane Henderson wrote, “Thank you for your interest in the OIG report but Wichita VA is declining live interviews at this time. I will, however, get you the answers to your questions.  Thanks.”

KSN was then referred to VISN PAO in Kansas City for a response.

At last report, KSN is still waiting for that response.

To read the full Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General report, click here.

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