In the 72 page report, a total of 53 recommendations came from the Office of the Medical Inspector. Suggestions such as adding more doctors, nurses and physical therapists in certain departments and keeping close records of the number of opiate drugs being prescribed to veterans.
Union representatives say the reports shows there's a problem with executive leadership at the Reno VA. Jeanine Swygman is a union representative. "It showed that we weren't making this up and it's very important that we were right. And hopefully this will mean that we can start to have some real changes."
Executive leadership declined to go on camera for this story, instead, releasing this statement:
After completing two site visits in October of 2011, the Office of Medical Inspector (OMI) identified a number of opportunities for improving the quality of services VASNHCS provides to their Veterans. The majority of opportunities, recommended by the OMI, were previously identified and being addressed by VASNHCS Leadership. VASNHCS Leadership and VISN 21 Leadership greatly appreciated the input from the OMI, which helped refine the action plans. The input enhanced our ability to provide outstanding quality care to Veterans. On August 1, 2012 VASNHCS was notified by the organization HealthInsight Nevada that our facility has met the criteria to receive a Certificate of Recognition for our performance on CMS Quality Measures over the past year. VASNHCS has received this recognition for three consecutive years now, and will be accepting the honor on September 6th, 2012. In addition, last year the VASNHCS was recognized by the Joint Commission as a top performer on quality measures, one of only 20 VA medical centers to receive this recognition, and the only hospital in Reno. As always the VASNHCS will continue to strive to provide "World Class Care and Service to America's Heroes."
But the disagreements between the union and executive leadership continue. The union says it wants a change at the top. "We believe that given the lack of extreme oversight on many levels that the OMI has acknowledged that someone has been asleep at the wheel and someone needs to take accountability for that."
I spoke with the VA spokesman yesterday on the phone. He says no one is losing their job over the OMI report. He also added veteran care is outstanding at the Reno VA, award winning even as they pointed out in their statement.
The union says veteran health care is adversely affected by executive leadership and they're taking the next step by meeting with members of congress.
Written By Wendy Damonte