November 2015

Do multiple maps and reporting lines adversely affect the VA’s ability to meet veterans’ needs?

Please read this article and participate in this month’s online opinion poll: Do multiple maps and reporting lines adversely affect the VA’s ability to meet veterans’ needs? Yes No Not Sure Current Results

VA Researchers Look at Offering Some Post-Op Follow-up Through Telehealth

VA Researchers Look at Offering Some Post-Op Follow-up Through Telehealth

As difficult as it is for some veterans to get to routine healthcare appointments, doing so after surgery — even with a low-complexity procedure — can be much worse.

VA’s CKD Patients Lack Knowledge About Their Condition

VA’s CKD Patients Lack Knowledge About Their Condition

CHICAGO — Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients at the VA have insufficient knowledge about their condition, which is associated with poorer health outcomes, according to a recent study. The report, published in the Clinical Kidney Journal, suggests that effective patient-provider… Read More

How Obesity Affects Kidney Function, Mortality in Veterans

MEMPHIS, TN — A new study investigated the association of body mass index with progressive loss of kidney function and all-cause mortality in U.S. veterans, finding that those who were overweight but not obese had the best clinical outcomes. The… Read More

Dialysis Timing Tends to Be Different for VA Patients

SEATTLE — The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) tends to be lower at the VA when dialysis is initiated compared with other healthcare systems, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the Clinical Journal of the American… Read More

Cancer Stage, Weight Loss Most Affect Lung Cancer Survival

BRONX, NY — Survival in veterans with lung cancer is more related to their percentage weight loss and stage of cancer than the subtype of lung cancer, according to a new study. Background in the article, which was published in… Read More

Comorbidities Raise Mortality Risk in Lung Cancer Patients

OMAHA, NE — Comorbid conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or congestive heart failure raise the mortality risk for lung cancer patients compared to those without the conditions, according to a study funded by the VHA. The report,… Read More

Effect of Lung Cancer Screening on Smoking Cessation

Effect of Lung Cancer Screening on Smoking Cessation

BOSTON — Are those with high-risk smoking histories more likely to quit after participation in annual lung cancer screening? That’s the question raised by a recent study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.1 The study, led by Massachusetts General Hospital… Read More

'Yuck Factor' Notwithstanding, Maggots Highly Effective for Diabetic Foot Wounds at VA

‘Yuck Factor’ Notwithstanding, Maggots Highly Effective for Diabetic Foot Wounds at VA

The VA is proving that “everything old is new again” with an unusual medical device — medicinal maggots.

Philadelphia VAMC Pharmacy Focuses More on Customers to Increase Satisfaction

Philadelphia VAMC Pharmacy Focuses More on Customers to Increase Satisfaction

When outpatient pharmacy customer satisfaction scores plunged below 40% on a recent survey, pharmacists in Philadelphia responded with several quality-improvement initiatives and were rewarded with significantly improved ratings.

Recommendations to Improve Governance at VA

Establish a governance board to develop fundamental policy, define the strategic path, insulate VHA leadership from direct political interaction, and ensure accountability for the achievement of established performance measures. Congress should consider the following alternatives for such a governance board:… Read More

McDonald: Proposed Board ‘Abrogation’ of Congress’ Role

Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — An independent governance board, as defined in a recent report, would be redundant with the role of the congressional committees overseeing the VA, according to Secretary Robert McDonald. The recently released review was mandated by the… Read More

A Personalized Approach Works Best in Prevention of Diabetes Development

A Personalized Approach Works Best in Prevention of Diabetes Development

For years, researchers have promoted the wonders of medical treatment customized to a patient’s specific genetic profile, but the reality in the exam room continues to be more “one size fits all.”

Maps and Much More Are Changing at VA

Maps and Much More Are Changing at VA

Five Regions with 18 VISNs by Late 2017 By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — For the VA, form affects function. Secretary Robert McDonald recognized that as soon as he stepped into the agency’s top leadership role. He made it clear… Read More