GAO categorized its concerns about VA's ability to ensure the timeliness, cost-effectiveness, quality, and safety of veterans' health care, into five broad areas:
1. Ambiguous policies and inconsistent processes: Ambiguous VA policies lead to inconsistency in the way its facilities carry out processes at the local level
2. Inadequate oversight and accountability: Weaknesses in VA's ability to hold its health care facilities accountable and ensure identified problems are resolved in a timely and appropriate manner.
3. Information technology challenges: Outdated, inefficient nature of certain systems, along with a lack of system interoperability.
4. Inadequate training for VA staff: Gaps in VA training that could put the quality and safety of veterans' health at risk or training requirements are burdensome to complete.
5. Unclear resource needs and allocation priorities: GAO has found gaps in the availability of data required by VA to efficiently identify resource needs and ensure resources are effectively allocated across the VA.
In some organizations, these efforts already are bearing fruit in the form of savings and efficiencies, according to some DoD officials. At the Defense Health Agency, rationalization efforts are currently under way — but they aren't necessarily easily, officials admit.
"We're rationalizing our portfolio of the existing applications and solutions that we have. [We want] one Military Health System solution vice three or four applications, which is typically the case," said Col Chip Terry, Air Force Medical Service CIO. "In MHS we had 26 applications for e-learning, and we're in the process of going down to one. It's extremely tough work; you don't just go in [and] turn it off. You have to communicate with the end user and have an exit strategy and plan for how to take care of their needs."
Those who are grieving often find it comforting to spend time with others who truly understand what they’re going through. Tell your story, share your feelings and make new friends at a bereavement camp, seminar or retreat. There are options for adults, children and teens.
Even the busiest people benefit from making time for exercise. Working out releases “feel-good chemicals,” relieves stress and boosts energy and metabolism. Can’t go wrong with that. Add exercise to your to-do list and reap the rewards.
Purpose: The Federal Health Dogz (FHDz) believe there’s a need for a one-stop transparent source for “unvarnished” information and knowledge regarding the Federal Health Sector (FHS). This includes the Military Health System, Veteran’s Administration, US Public Health Service, Homeland Security, FEHBP and other Catz and Dogz who have interest, opinions or investment in federal healthcare. Mission: Transform the nation from “healthcare-to-health” by finding and sharing FHS-related information to inform, inspire, and influence a variety of audiences. This will enhance informed decision making at the personal, organization and system levels in a timely manner and lead to improving the health and security of the nation, increasing the experience) of care (access, quality, service), leadership accountability, and reduced cost per capita.
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