Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Statins Lower Amputation, Death Risk in PAD

Statins appear to lower risk of amputation and death in veterans with peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to a recent study.

High Mortality for Lower Limb Amputation

While high mortality rates have been reported after major amputations of a lower limb secondary to diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, the mortality rates have varied across studies.

Systolic BP Variation Linked to Poor Outcomes

Within individual patients, blood pressure (BP) fluctuates dynamically over time, and previous clinical studies have suggested an adverse link between greater visit-to-visit variability in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and various outcomes, according to a new study.

Veterans’ Weight-Loss Issues Different From Those Never Serving

It’s a story VA primary care providers often hear from patients who need to lose weight: Even though they were constantly pressured to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness while on active military service, veterans never learned much about healthy diets.

Bottom-Up VA Innovations Improve Veteran, Staff Experiences

Bottom-Up VA Innovations Improve Veteran, Staff Experiences

The VA’s recent Innovation Day highlighted 32 projects designed to help VA employees address problems faced every day by them and the veterans they serve.

Surgical Wait Times Decrease at VAMC After ‘Lean’ Process Implementation

Surgical Wait Times Decrease at VAMC After ‘Lean’ Process Implementation

While automobiles and patient health might seem to involve very different processes, what Japanese car maker Toyota achieved in quality improvement in the 1980s has intrigued hospitals for decades.

Wider Use of Biosimilars Promise Significant Savings for VA

Wider Use of Biosimilars Promise Significant Savings for VA

Even as biologics offer new options for patients suffering from a wide range of diseases today, their steep prices pose a significant challenge to healthcare system budgets.

VA Lags on Revamping Medical Product Catalog

VA Lags on Revamping Medical Product Catalog

VA must ensure that a revised, narrower product catalog being implemented has the medical and surgical items that the healthcare system’s medical professionals actually need, lawmakers insisted at a recent hearing.

VA, Legislators Debate Owning vs. Leasing Medical Buildings

VA, Legislators Debate Owning vs. Leasing Medical Buildings

Should VA own or lease its medical facilities and, when it does decide to rent, is it overpaying?

VA Finds Diets Allowing More Fat Might Reduce Diabetes, Other Ailments

VA Finds Diets Allowing More Fat Might Reduce Diabetes, Other Ailments

For 30 years, Americans have focused on reducing fat to lower their risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

VA Battles Legislative, Media Criticism of Veterans Crisis Line

VA Battles Legislative, Media Criticism of Veterans Crisis Line

The VA is pushing back hard against accusations last month that calls to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) were not being handled appropriately.

More Research Sought on Health Effects of War Zone Burn Pits

More Research Sought on Health Effects of War Zone Burn Pits

The U.S. government must do more to help troops who were exposed to open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan

Honored Nurse: No Plans to Retire After 37 Years on Midnight Shift

Honored Nurse: No Plans to Retire After 37 Years on Midnight Shift

Drema Bratton, RN, has made it very clear that she has no plans to retire. “They’re going to have to pry me out of here,” declared Huntington VAMC’s Nurse of the Year.

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

An iPad questionnaire completed in the waiting rooms of VAMCs is helping clinicians more quickly identify patient suicide risk.

Suicide Risk Remains Much Higher for Military, Veterans Than Civilian U.S. Population

Suicide Risk Remains Much Higher for Military, Veterans Than Civilian U.S. Population

Suicide rates in the general U.S. population rose to their highest level in 30 years in 2014, but among both active-duty servicemembers and veterans, the rates were higher still.

Sleep Disorders Increase Sixfold in Veterans; Women Especially Affected

Sleep Disorders Increase Sixfold in Veterans; Women Especially Affected

Sleep—or, more precisely, the lack thereof—continues to complicate mental and physical health for veterans and military servicemembers.

Costs Higher When RA Patients Switch TNFi Therapies

How are clinical outcomes and drug/administration costs of treatment affected when VA patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) use tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) agents?

Smoking Associated With RA Severity at VA

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis and has been associated with increased disease severity and lower rates of disease remission.

Which Drugs Cause Weight Gain, Loss in RA?

Unintentional weight loss often can help predict long-term outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

As every pharmacist and physician knows, medications only work if patients take them as prescribed—and increasing consistent adherence remains one of the biggest challenges in medicine.

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Time is said to heal all wounds, and that might also be the case with older military veterans suffering from pain.

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

While Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame often missed the critical clue, the VA expects its new partnership with IBM’s Watson to help it detect the genomic fingerprints of cancer and make effective treatments less of a mystery.