VA Investigates Medical Errors at Three Facilities

Effort to notify and test as many as 10,555 patients is under way

Reforms in the healthcare system are requiring fundamental changes in how hospitals and other healthcare providers, including clinical laboratories, report medical errors. At the same time, consumers are tracking the quality differences between providers and insisting on more accountability for medical errors.

These points were highlighted in a Dark Daily e-briefing on March 11, 2009, titled “Medical Errors Become a Headline News Item.” At that time, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had made public the discovery of multi-year problems at VA clinics in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Augusta, Georgia. At both sites, improper procedures with diagnostic equipment had been identified. In both situations, the problems meant that thousands of patients may have been exposed to infection.