Nationwide probe gauges quality of care for America’s veterans

Local News

An in-depth investigation into the quality of care of America’s veterans turned up some encouraging news, and some discouraging results.

The nationwide study conducted by USA TODAY found that the medical facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs does some things better than non-VA caregivers, but the researchers also found a lot of non-governmental medical providers are doing better than the VA.

The USA TODAY investigation found that veterans were more likely to be stricken by infections at VA hospitals, than at non-VA facilities, some of them life-threatening infections.

But at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo, that was not the case. The study found the facility on Bailey Avenue did some things very well, and others not so well.

USA TODAY studied the care of veterans at 147 medical facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and compared them with care veterans can get at non-VA facilities.

The Buffalo VA was at the top of the class for incidents anti-biotic resistant staph infections known as MRSA–registering none. Buffalo also ranked number one for preventing bedsores.

But in the category of waiting time in the emergency room wait times, the VA overall logged much longer wait times than non-VA medical centers, and Buffalo had the ninth-worst average waiting time for veterans, more than 7 hours waiting in the emergency room.
 

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