John Cochran VA Center Improvements a success story
New Inspector General report points to success in improving care at facility, Senator launched secret shopper program for area veterans following reports of problems
September 12, 2012
WASHINGTON - Two years after reports surfaced of problems at the John Cochran VA medical facility in St. Louis, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's "secret shopper" program for area veterans aimed at turning around the facility has helped achieve success, according to improvements documented in an independent Inspector General report released today.
In 2010, amid reports of problems with medical care at John Cochran, McCaskill toured the facility and met with hospital administrators to discuss the urgent need for the VA to make improvements. Following the tour, McCaskill launched the Veterans Customer Satisfaction Program (VCSP) with the aim of providing oversight and accountability for the veterans health care system. The VCSP allows veterans to confidentially record details of their experience, and enables VA officials to subsequently seek solutions where problems are identified.
Today, the VA's Inspector General released a report-available HERE-showing that the problems documented at John Cochran in 2010, have largely been corrected. In part, the report finds that "the facility has made vast improvements in its RME-related policies and practices over the past 6 months and the central issue of patient safety during dental procedures has been addressed."
"The success story we've seen at John Cochran is exactly what you can expect from a sustained and focused effort to deliver results for our veterans," McCaskill said. "There is clearly still work that needs to be done to continue strengthening veterans' care, but these improvements are possible because the St. Louis VA Medical Center took this investigation seriously, and because we never let up the pressure to get this right. Our military veterans stood up to protect our freedoms, and they've earned the best health care we can provide."
McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran, has been a champion for military veterans since coming to the Senate in 2006, and was a founding member of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus. McCaskill was a leading advocate for the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, helped pass the 21st Century GI Bill to open up educational opportunities for veterans, and has repeatedly rallied support for additional care for veterans returning from combat duty.
Veterans can visit McCaskill's website, mccaskill.senate.gov/vcsp/, to continue to participate in the Veterans Customer Satisfaction Program
Read more about McCaskill's work for veterans by clicking HERE.
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