Pa. congressmen address VA hospital concerns - abc27 WHTM

Pa. congressmen address VA hospital concerns

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It all comes down to results, and veterans have been waiting much to long for medical care. A recent audit of 731 Veteran Affairs hospitals and clinics shows major improvements are needed.

"We are just all outraged at what we saw in Phoenix and other facilities around the country," Congressman Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) said.

Thousands of vets are being put on waiting lists of 30 days or more. Congressmen Dent and Jim Gerlach visited the Lebanon V.A. Medical Facility to address the problems and offer some solutions.

"There are certainly are opportunities for more local and regional partnerships in the private healthcare system that at the end of the day will provide that veteran with immediate care and quality care that they might not get under the current system," Gerlach said.

More local coverage could mean less waiting time and Gerlach says a large amount of the blame is due to a more than 30-year-old computer system V.A. facilities are still using.

"When you are working with an 1980's technology as they are at the Lebanon V.A., clearly the folks responsible for technology improvements in Washington D.C. have been way to slow on the ball," he said.

Gerlach said Washington needs to pick up that ball and reinvent their computer systems.

"New technology will create more efficiency, quicker action matching up availability with scheduling of the physicians. That ought to reduce those wait times significantly," he said.

The Lebanon V.A. facility was a victim of the old technology, causing them to show up on the nationwide audit.

"The audit here in Lebanon identified an issue with outpatient cardiology, which really stems from the antiquated software program they use for scheduling. That needs to be adjusted," Dent said.


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