Little Being Done About Medical Errors Occurring At VA Hospitals

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In this photo taken on June 18, a sign flashes outside the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Anchorage Alaska.

In this photo taken on June 18, a sign flashes outside the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Anchorage Alaska.

An Aug. 28 report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that hospitals within the Veterans Affairs system may be doing less than they should to investigate preventable medical mistakes.

The report found that the number of investigations for medical errors, called “adverse effects,” plunged 18% between 2010 and 2014. As the number of examinations shrank, medical errors grew 7% during those same years. At the same time, the number of veterans seeking medical care through the VA grew by 14%. Last year alone, roughly 5.8 million people sought care at VA medical hospitals.

In essence, more veterans are seeking care while the number of medical mishaps increases.