Patients' medical records awaiting scanning left in basement for 10 months at Atlanta VA hospital

Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center is beginning to sort through thousands of pieces of mail after they were left in a basement for more than 10 months, according to a Sept. 20 report by CBS affiliate WBS 2.

A VA employee saw 10 pallets of mail that dated back at least 10 months and were stacked 10 feet into the air. The VA employee said that based on the mail codes they saw, the mail contained critical items, such as medical records that needed to be scanned into EHRs. The VA employee took photos of the mail and sent them to a local publication.

"This was pallets upon pallets, just staged," the VA whistleblower told WSB 2. "Sitting in the basement. Just sitting there. Nobody touched it."

The VA hospital confirmed the whistleblower's claims to WSB 2. They have now moved six of the 10 pallets for processing. The VA said the mail is mostly documentation of services provided by community partners, which is also submitted electronically, according to the report.

The VA told the publication that it is "working diligently to process the four remaining pallets of mail as quickly as possible" and "hiring additional staff to ensure the medical center's mailroom functions efficiently."

The hospital said that nobody has been disciplined for the incident.

"We are reviewing internal processes to prevent a similar situation in the future, we are also retraining current mailroom employees and hiring additional staff to ensure the medical center's mailroom functions efficiently," the VA told WBS 2.

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