DC VA Hospital Put Patients 'At Unnecessary Risk'

The Department of Veterans Affairs' internal investigation of conditions at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center found multiple serious issues that put patients "at unnecessary risk" and could cost "a significant amount of assets of the federal government."

A preliminary report from the VA Office of the Inspector General released Thursday describes the various failings of the VA Medical Center in the capitol, which serves over 98,000 veterans.

"The Medical Center placed patients at unnecessary risk by failing to ensure that appropriate medical supplies and equipment were available to providers when needed; that recalled supplies or equipment were not used on patients; and that sterile supplies were stored appropriately," the report reads.

Of the 25 sterile storage areas, 18 were dirty. More than $150 million in equipment or supplies are unaccounted for due to the lack of an inventory system, and there is no system set up to check for expired or unsafe supplies. Additionally, there is a large warehouse filled with hospital materials that's lease is due to expire at the end of the month. There are no plans in place to move the storage. There are also multiple senior staff positions unfilled that prevent fixing these issues.

"We have not seen anything quite like this at a VA facility," Inspector General Michael J. Missal told Click Here to comment on this article

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